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2014 Archive - Major Infrastructure Projects

New Lighting at Historic Union Station

November 11, 2014

 



Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the completion of asignificant lighting project around Union Station along Adams Street, Canal Street, Jackson Boulevard, and Clinton Street! 28 new lights and eight retrofitted lights were installed to improve illumination around this busy commuter station. These decorative lights also improve the historic character around the nearly century-old building.


 
 

Before installing the new lights, work was needed to improve the vaulted sidewalks underneath the light poles and to install new foundations and conduit. The project also included construction of twelve ADA ramps.   

 

The current Union Station opened in 1925 and is the second railroad terminal to open at this location. It is also the third busiest railroad terminal in the nation, serving 120,000 commuters each weekday.

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Upper Stetson Resurfacing Complete

September 5, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the completion of aresurfacing project on Upper N. Stetson Ave!  The Alderman initiated this significant infrastructure improvement and allocated a portion of funds from his Aldermanic Menu toresurface Upper N. Stetson Ave. between E. Wacker Dr. and E. Randolph St.  Work on this project was completed on July 24, 2014.

 

The project required the removal of the old, deteriorated asphalt on the affected portion of the street. Following the removal of the old asphalt, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) made the necessary structural adjustments to the numerous manholes, catch basins and curb side drains that are located along the street to ensure they were in alignment with the new layer of asphalt. Afterward, CDOT had to return to the area to clear some catch basins in which asphalt had accidently fallen.

 

This stretch of Stetson handles 10,000 vehicles every day with residents, visitors, and tourists traveling between home, work, and many downtown institutions. 

 

According to the Chicago History Museum's street naming guide, Stetson Ave is named for Eugene W. Stetson (1916 - 1959), who was chairman of the Illinois Central Rail Road and is credited from bringing from the company back from near-bankruptcy to a profitable company. The former railroad is now an important part of the Canadian National Railway.

 

Street Condition Before


 



Street Condition After  

 

 

 

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Alderman Reilly Announces Repairs to Infrastructure Eyesores in Streeterville

August 29, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly is also pleased to announce recent repairs to the Cityfront Plaza Fountain. The privately maintained fountain, located at the intersection of Upper East Illinois Street and North Cityfront Plaza, had fallen into disrepair, with broken granite and a crumbling foundation. Alderman Reilly worked with the Cityfront Center West Association to expedite repairs that have restored the fountain to its original beauty.

 

The Plaza Fountain was a key component of the 1987 vision to create the 2.5 acre oval-shaped Cityfront Plaza on the upper level of East Illinois Street. The goal was to create acres of new parks and public plazas accessible from Michigan Avenue along the southernmost blocks of the Magnificent Mile.

 

Fountain Condition BEFORE

 

 

 

Fountain Condition AFTER

 


 


 

Alderman Reilly is very excited about this neighborhood improvement that will enhance the pedestrian experience on upper-level Cityfront Plaza along the Chicago Riverwalk.

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North McClurg Court Resurfacing Complete!!

July 11, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the completion of a resurfacing project on North McClurg Court!  The Alderman initiated this significant infrastructure improvement and allocated a portion of funds from his Aldermanic Menu to resurface North McClurg Court between East Ohio Street and East Ontario Street.  Work on this project was completed June 16, 2014.

 

The project required the removal of the old, deteriorated asphalt on the affected portion of street. Following the removal of the old asphalt, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) made the necessary structural adjustments to the numerous manholes, catch basins and curb side drains that are located along the street to ensure they were in alignment with the new layer of asphalt. 

 

This stretch of McClurg handles 10,000 vehicles every day with residents, visitors, and tourists traveling between home, work, and many Streeterville institutions. 

 

McClurg Court is named for Alexander C. McClurg (1832-1901), who was a general in the U.S. Civil War.  After the war he became a publisher for many famous authors, including Edgar Rice Burroughs who wrote the Tarzan of the Apes series.  McClurg is buried in historic Graceland Cemetery under a famous Celtic Cross designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.


Street Condition BEFORE:
 
  

Street Condition AFTER:

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Infrastructure Improvement Completed on Lower Lake Shore Drive!

February 21, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the completion of a resurfacing project on Lower Lake Shore Drive!  The Alderman initiated this significant infrastructure improvement and allocated funds from his Aldermanic Menu to resurface Lower Lake Shore Drive between E. Illinois St. and E. Grand Ave., including resurfacing on the exit ramps.  Work on this project was completed November 18, 2013. The last time this street saw any significant construction work was in 1984.

 

The project required the removal of the old, deteriorated asphalt on the affected portion of street. Following the removal of the old asphalt, the Chicago Department of Transportation made the necessary structural adjustments to the numerous manholes, catch basins and curb side drains that are located along the street to ensure they were in alignment with the new layer of asphalt.

 

Lake Shore Drive is a state highway and is typically not the maintenance responsibility of the City of Chicago. However, due to the high traffic volume and the large number of complaints his office received about this area, Alderman Reilly allocated a portion of the Aldermanic Menu to complete this important resurfacing project.

 

Lake Shore Drive is one of the most famous roadways in the nation, and this particular portion of the roadway is the most frequently used entrance and exit for motorists visiting the Streeterville neighborhood and Navy Pier, which is Chicago's #1 top tourist attraction. This portion of Lower Lake Shore Drive was created the same time that the famous Link Bridge over the Chicago River was built in 1937, which at the time was the longest and widest bascule ("Chicago Style") bridge in the world.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Upper Wacker Drive Resurfacing Complete!

July 18, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the completion of a major resurfacing project on Upper Wacker Drive! 

 

After this year's extremely harsh winter weather, Alderman Reilly received a large number of complaints regarding the condition of E. Upper Wacker Drive, between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.

 

E. Upper Wacker Drive is a major artery for vehicles to enter and exit the Loop, the New Eastside neighborhood, and the Michigan Avenue corridor, serving 35,000 vehicles daily.  It also serves as the front door for those visiting downtown tourism attractions. Unfortunately, the winter weather had taken a toll on the pavement, which was in serious need of repair.

 

To address these concerns, Alderman Reilly allocated a portion of funds from his Aldermanic Menu to resurface Upper Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.

 

The project required the removal of the old, deteriorated asphalt on the affected portion of the elevated street. Following the removal of the old asphalt, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) made the necessary structural adjustments to the numerous manholes, catch basins and curb side drains that are located along the street to ensure they were in alignment with the new layer of asphalt. The Chicago Department of Transportation also patched the crumbling medians in this area.

 

Wacker Drive is named after Charles Wacker (1856-1929), who was Chairman of the 1893 Columbian Exposition (which is represented by one of the four stars on the Chicago Flag).  He was later Chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission, where he pushed for implementation of the Burnham Plan, which included the idea for what later became Wacker Drive.   

Alderman Reilly was pleased to authorize this important infrastructure repair to Upper Wacker Drive, which improves daily travel for thousands of downtown residents, commuters, and tourists. 

 

Wacker Drive Street Condition BEFORE:

 

 

 Wacker Drive Street Condition AFTER:

 

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Rush Street Resurfacing Complete

December 2, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the completion of aresurfacing project on Rush Street!  The Alderman initiated this significant infrastructure improvement and allocated a portion of funds from his Aldermanic Menu to resurface Rush Street, between East Chestnut Street and East Delaware Place, including the intricate intersection of Rush Street, Chestnut Street, and Wabash Avenue. Work on this project was completed in late November of 2014.

 

The project required the removal of the old, deteriorated asphalt on the affected portion of the street. Following the removal of the old asphalt, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) made the necessary structural adjustments to the numerous manholes, catch basins and curb side drains that are located along the street to ensure they were in alignment with the new layer of asphalt.

 

This stretch of Rush Street handles 18,000 vehicles every day with residents, visitors, and tourists traveling between home, work, and many local retail establishments.

 

According to the Chicago History Museum's street naming guide, Rush Street is named after Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745 - 1813), who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and was Surgeon General in the Continental Army. He later was a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention that ratified the new U.S. Constitution in that state.  

 

Street Condition Before and After photos: 

 

 

 

 

 

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State Street Resurfacing Complete!

October 28, 2014


Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the completion of aresurfacing project on historic State Street!  For the first time in over a decade the historic street was resurfaced from Van Buren to Wacker.

 

 

 

The project required the removal of the old, deteriorated asphalt on the affected portion of the street. Following the removal of the old asphalt, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) made the necessary structural adjustments to the numerous manholes, catch basins and curb side drains that are located along the street to ensure they were in alignment with the new layer of asphalt. Work on this project was largely completed on October 20, 2014, however some work at the intersection of State Street and Washington Street will not be completed until Spring 2015.

 

According to the 1923 book Chicago Highways, Old and New, from Indian Trail to Motor Road, State Street was originally referred to as the State Road after the State of Illinois funded a much needed improvement in 1834 to the previous muddy Hubbard Trail, but later was officially re-named State Street so as not to confuse it with an actual railroad.

  

As all Chicagoans know State Street is the dividing line between streets that are labeled as either "west" or "east" following the 1909 implementation of the Chicago grid system for street numbers. Long-time residents will remember in 1979 when Mayor Jane Byrne converted the street to a pedestrian-only mall, and when Mayor Richard M. Daley converted it back into a streetin 1996.  Since then State Street has come to handle more than 20,000 vehicles every day, serves as the roof of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line, and is one of the defining streetsthat makes Chicago a world class city. 

 

Street Condition Before:    

 

 

 

Street Condition After:

 

 

 

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Alderman Reilly Delivers Major Streetscape & Lighting Upgrades

August 8, 2014

   

Alderman Reilly is pleased to announce the completion of a significant lighting improvement and beautification project on N. Franklin Street in River North.

 

  

 

Since he was elected, Alderman Reilly received a number of complaints regarding inadequate lighting on Franklin Street, under the CTA El tracks. Franklin Street is a main thoroughfare in the densely-populated River North neighborhood, and is home to several residential buildings, as well as a number of galleries, restaurants, shops, and entertainment establishments. Alderman Reilly also received requests from the former Commander of the 18th Police District for increased lighting to improve public safety.

 

In response to these concerns, Alderman Reilly worked with the Chicago Department of Transportation to develop a comprehensive plan to improve lighting under the CTA tracks, as well as along the sidewalks on N. Franklin Street. The Alderman initiated this significant infrastructure improvement and allocated a portion of funds from his Aldermanic Menu to fund this work, which was completed in Fall, 2013.

 

The Chicago Department of Transportation installed 156 lights under the Brown / Purple Line CTA tracks along N. Franklin St between Kinzie St. and Chicago Ave.  The new 150 watt white induction lights have a voltage of 208, which provides plentiful lighting for pedestrians and motorists. 

 



These special induction lights were chosen based on its light quality, efficiency, and durability in this environment. Mounting the fixtures on the El structure has two advantages: it allows more space on the sidewalk and it is less expensive than installing underground conduit systems and pole foundations.

 

However, the El structure is subject to a significant amount of vibration. Lighting systems mounted on this environment often fail in a short period of time from damage to the lamp caused by vibration. Typical high intensity discharge (HID) lamps have small parts within that are subject to electric currents and heat. The addition of vibration from passing trains strains the small parts to the point of failure. The induction lamps are configured differently; they have no electrical terminals within the lamp so are less susceptible to failure from vibration. In addition, vibration isolation devices were used to mount the fixtures to the structure further limiting possible damage.

 

  

 

The project also included 36 "double acorn" light fixtures (named that way because the two lights look like acorns), which enhance the architectural and historical character of the neighborhood.  These fixtures were installed at intersections to provide increased lighting for pedestrians.  The fixtures also include hanging planters, which are landscaped during the warmer weather months.  The hanging baskets were planted for the 2014 season on June 13th. 

 

   

 

Alderman Reilly was pleased to allocate funds for the installation of this important neighborhood beautification project.

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