The project to rebuild Davis Street in downtown Evanston is now 45 percent complete — according to a big illuminated sign board on Chicago Avenue near the construction site.

Workers build forms for new sidewalks near Alderman Judy Fiske’s Fit & Frisky pet store this week.

The project to rebuild Davis Street downtown is now 45 percent complete — according to a big illuminated sign board on Chicago Avenue near the construction site.

The project which has kept the street torn up for much of summer, is scheduled to be finished before the end of October.

Workers last week removing and stacking bricks from the old sidewalk outside Creative Coworking for possible reuse.

In addition to repaving the street, adding a bike lane and replacing deteriorated brick sidewalks with mostly-concrete ones, the project also has involved replacing old water and sewer lines and gas mains.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. The poorest engineering project

    I have lived through a lot of municipal engineering projects, as have you all. With no exception, this project has been the poster child for bad project management. Besides the economic harm done to the local businesses, pedestrians could barely navigate the piles of rocks, holes, missing bricks and gravel paths (when there was one). Traffic had it slightly better but that, too, was poorly managed.

    But it is nice that we've decided to put yet another expensive bike lane in. I hope cyclists use it. Why don;t we just ban traffic altogether in the downtown area and have open bike lanes and expansive pedestrian areas? That would be a statement about Evanston's committment to healthy lifestyles.

  2. Sidewalks

    So they're taking out much of the brick sidewalk to put in the concrete that was once there. Some years later some study will recommend putting in brick again for a nicer "streetscape."

    So it goes.

  3. Can’t keep me away from Bennison’s

    Even though there was no sidewalk and nowhere to park, you can't keep me away from Bennison's! 

  4. Bad management

    Absolutely the worst, starting last year on Church with the very expensive, poorly placed and superfluous sidewalk lights.

    Then the beginning of the Davis Street. project when the Public Works Dept. decided it was good planning to take out a couple dozen parking spaces all along Davis.  The merchants rebelled and talked some simple sense into the Public Works Director to force those losses down to only a couple spaces.

    And there has been a complete lack of respect for the Davis Street. business owners as sidewalks were repeatedly and completely closed off from both ends with no access to whole sections of the street and therefore the stores within that section.  If not for last minute outside intervention they were going to leave complete sections of the sidewalks completely closed off over the Labor Day weekend.

    Work has repeatedly been done on both sidewalks simultaneously so that pedestrians are forced to walk in the street as cars pass by within literally inches of them.  No barriers, no pathway, no direction, nothing.

    I understand and accept that construction projects bring inconvienence, but this has been very, very poorly managed by the public works dept. from the planning to the implementation.

    And we're only halfway through.




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