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Dodge bike lane upgrade back on track

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Construction of protected bike lanes on Dodge Avenue in Evanston is expected to start in May — and at a substantially lower cost than if the project had been done last year.

Public Works Agency Director Dave Stoneback says in a memo that the project was rebid by the Illinois Department of Transportation earlier this year and the low bid came in at about $455,000 — just over half the low bid for the project when it first went out to bids last spring.

The city had received a federal congestion mitigation grant through the regional planning agency that would cover 80 percent of the cost of the project — up to a cap of $480,000.

So, if the work had been done last year, the city would have had to pay more than half-a-million dollars to get it done. At this year's lower price, the city share of the cost will be just over $91,000.

Stoneback says getting the bid requests out earlier in the season, before contractors had other projects lined up, helped reduce the cost for the project. In addition, officials said, last year was an especially busy one for road contractors, which also impacted prices.

The winning bidder for the work this year is Maintenance Coatings Co. of South Elgin.

The protected bike lane on Church Street downtown.

The work will replace the existing bike lanes, which are adjacent to the auto travel lanes, with protected bike lanes next to the curb that will separate cyclists from traffic with a line of parked cars. That's the approach used in new city bike projects on Church and Davis streets over the past few years.

The bike lane is planned to run from Howard to Churchs streets and provide a major access route for students going to and from Evanston Township High School. But Stoneback says it will not change the existing bike lane in front of the high school between Lake and Church streets.

Related story

Dodge bike lane project may be delayed (8/12/15)

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