EAST CHICAGO | City officials on Tuesday gave an update on plans to reconstruct Main Street between Broadway Street and Columbus Drive.
Mayor Anthony Copeland and City Engineer Jezreel Rodriguez told residents attending a meeting that the nearly $4.1 million project is expected to start in early May and wrap up by December.
The reconstruction will include a new water main, storm and sanitary sewers, landscaping, lighting, traffic signals, new pavement, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
The project, which is being done by Grimmer Construction, includes about 80 new light poles with ornamental lighting. Fiber optic conduit also will be installed.
At least one lane of Main Street and parking along that lane will remain open during the project. Work will begin on the west side of Main and shift to the east side.
The city is planning on having temporary parking lots set up during construction, which was a concern for many merchants along Main.
Because of the water line work, businesses will be without water for about an hour or two and receive advance notification of when it will occur, officials said.
Copeland said it’s all part of a “Herculean effort” to revamp a downtown that hasn’t had improvements of this magnitude in 40 to 50 years.
“We’re trying to do it right,” he said. “Total reconstruction. For this little inconvenience, I’ll tell you you’re going to have years and years of tranquility. When you see the project in its totality I think you’re going to be pleased. We’re trying to breathe new life in here. When we get through this, we will be an ideal walkable community.”
Terry Roth, owner of Dorothy’s Hair Palace, said he’s been on Main Street for 35 years and has been waiting for the project for a long time.
“I think it’s good,” he said. “I’m pleased with the way this is going.”
Roth said he feels like his concerns are being heard because he made suggestions at a previous meeting about the project regarding parking and the city went out and investigated it.