FAQs

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Project Purpose and Need

The new storm sewer is designed to convey the 10-year storm event and to convey storm water from the Clavey Road corridor to the Skokie River. The Clavey Road Project should not have any negative impacts to drainage near the bridge or in the Larkspur Drive area.

The City accepted federal construction grant funds for the project, and, as such, is required to adhere to strict IDOT guidelines. Infrastructure investment is a core priority for the City. On average, the City spends $12-$14 million annually on all infrastructure projects to maintain and upgrade aged City infrastructure. Any grant funds received will alleviate the tax burden on property owners and allow the City to take on additional infrastructure investment.

The City’s infrastructure, namely water main, storm sewer, and roadway, has deteriorated significantly. Over the years, the concrete roadway section has spalled, and the temporary asphalt repairs performed are not withholding the integrity of the pavement. As such, the Clavey Road Improvements Project was prioritized in the City’s Capital Improvement Program to undertake the necessary infrastructure improvements.

Project Timeline

Due to federal funding constraints the construction will occur in two separate contracts.  The first contract is referenced as Phase One Construction.  The second contract is referenced as Phase Two Construction.

Phase One Construction is anticipated to begin in April of 2021. Major items of work in Phase One Construction include the new bridge over the Skokie River, New Ductile Iron Water Main, and temporary pavement to be used in the Phase Two Construction Contract.  Completion of the Phase One Construction is anticipated for the fall of 2021.

The Phase Two Construction contracts is currently scheduled for an IDOT bid opening on November 5, 2021.  Work should begin in the spring of 2022.  Major items of work include construction of the new storm sewers, new concrete curbs and new full-depth asphalt pavement on Clavey Road.  Completion of the Phase Two Construction is anticipated for the fall of 2022.

There will be a winter shut down period between Phase One and Phase Two Construction. The project may be delayed due to Covid-19 and unpredictable variables such as weather or any unforeseen site conditions. The City will ensure that every effort is made to keep construction moving forward in an expeditious manner while still providing a quality product to last for years to come.  The construction timeline takes into account various stages of construction including constructing a two-lane roadway during construction during construction, a one-lane temporary signal at Clavey Road Bridge, impact to the parkway area, relocation of utility poles and other pertinent factors.

The City received $8,000,000 in federal grant funds in 2015. Any federal construction grant funds are required to adhere to strict IDOT guidelines. A construction project follows three phases with each phase requiring IDOT approval prior to the start of the phase. For the Clavey Road Project, the phases are Phase I- Preliminary Engineering; Phase II- Final Design Engineering; and Phase III- Construction. Please see the below timeline for each phase:

Phase I was initiated in August 2015 and completed in November of 2018.  It is not an uncommon practice for Phase I Preliminary Engineering approval to take more than two years, especially for a project of this size and scope. IDOT provided approval for the Phase I Preliminary Engineering in November 2018. A copy of the updated Phase I Project Development Report can be viewed here. The City engaged in engineering consulting services to begin paperwork submission to IDOT for Phase II Final Engineering. A bidding schedule will not be available until Phase II Engineering begins. Plans and specifications will be available after the City initiates Phase II Final Engineering. For example, project specific specifications are part of the scope of the contract for Phase II Final Engineering.  Since IDOT has not granted approval to start Phase II Final Engineering, the City does not have specifications. The City will post the Phase II Final Engineering and specifications upon availability and notify residents.

Phase II Final Engineering has been approved by IDOT. To adhere to IDOT guidelines, the City is required to implement a Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process to select a firm for Phase II Engineering. The QBS was initiated in November of 2018 immediately after approval of Phase I Preliminary Engineering and completed January 2019. The QBS process included an advertisement in a local newspaper, submittal of various documents indicative of a firm’s qualifications, review of these documents and face-to-face interviews with firms. Through this process, Ciorba Group, Inc. was selected to perform Phase II Final Engineering work. The required engineering and funding agreements were sent to IDOT in January of 2019 for IDOT’s review and approval.  IDOT completed its preliminary review of the agreements with comments in June of 2019. The City re-submitted the approved agreements to IDOT in July 2019 and final approval from IDOT was received in December to begin the start of Phase II Final Engineering. The City anticipates completion of Phase II Final Engineering in 2020.

The City received approval from IDOT in November 2019 to start Phase II Final Engineering. City posted the plans on the website in March 2020 to seek public feedback on the plans. Thank you all for providing the comments. The project is scheduled tentatively to be on IDOT’s November 2020 letting with construction anticipated to begin early spring 2021. Due to Covid-19 crisis, it is possible the letting will be delayed. We will send an update upon receiving notification. Please continue to sign up to receive information pertaining to this project by sending an email to engineering@cityhpil.com.

The following standard specifications and guidelines are used to prepare bid documents for a FHWA and IDOT grant funded projects: 1) Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction; 2) Supplemental Specifications and Recurring Special Provisions; 3) State Standard Drawings; 4) District One Details; 5) Bureau of Design and Environment Manual (BDE); 6) Bureau of Local Roads and Streets Manual (BLRS); 7) Project specific Special Provisions (to be developed during final engineering); 8) Bureau of Design and Environment (BDE) Special Provisions; 9) IDOT Bridge Manual; 10) Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

Traffic Management

All oversized load trucks require permits from IDOT and the City. Depending on the weight and width of the truck, a permit will be given by IDOT and the City. Most likely, heavy load trucks are to use detour routes provided by IDOT and City.

The current plan calls for maintaining pedestrian and bicyclist traffic during construction. During bridge replacement work, it is possible to shut down pedestrian and bicyclist traffic for a short duration for safety reasons. Please note that Clavey Road Bridge will be one-lane with a temporary traffic signal to regulate the flow of traffic. The bridge will be replaced at the completion of the project.

The traffic signal controller may have the option to be taken over by a police officer, if necessary. But this needs to be reviewed in more detail to ensure proper sight lines are available to the human that has control of the signal. Keep in mind that the signal is at a bridge, with the signal heads placed at a relatively large distance from each other. This is different from the traditional signal found at intersections.

As noted in the answer to the question above, the signal will detect when vehicles are present and when each movement needs a green light or a red light. Adjustments can be made to provide more green time to a specific movement during higher traffic volumes such as when Ravinia holds a major event.

The traffic signal at the bridge will be fully actuated, which means it will detect when vehicles are present and when each movement needs a green light or a red light.

Clavey Road is a major east-west route in the City, used by many motorists and pedestrians. While the one-way traffic option could reduce construction time and project costs, it eliminates the westbound traffic on a significant portion of Clavey Road for a long duration and would cause a major inconvenience to the motoring public. At the public meeting on July 30, 2019, residents and entities residing in the area and using Clavey Road on a daily basis expressed concerns with the one-way traffic and the long detour routes. Also, a one-direction traffic flow pattern is not as safe as a two-way traffic flow. Public safety responders have expressed concerns on traffic backups with one-way traffic. The one-way traffic plan would also impact visitors heading to Ravinia Festival grounds causing major backups on the detoured routes. Maintaining a two-way traffic flow is estimated to cost an additional $1,600,000. This figure is a preliminary estimate based on a limited study conducted by the City’s design consultant. The cost will be reviewed after IDOT provides the City with approval to initiate final engineering. The additional cost will be grant funded, and, as such, the City’s share will be limited to 20% of costs or $320,000 if approved by IDOT.

With the proposed plan to maintain two-way traffic during construction on Clavey Road from US Route 41 to Green Bay Road for the duration of construction, detour routes are not anticipated. A detour is possible due to unforeseen site conditions or utility conflicts, but the duration of the detour route will be short. Please note that Clavey Road Bridge will be one-lane with a temporary traffic signal to regulate the flow of traffic. The bridge will be replaced at the completion of the project.

Yes. The Clavey Road bridge is inspected on a regular basis as mandated by State of Illinois. The inspection reports ensure the bridge is in a safe condition to carry vehicular and pedestrian traffic. During the construction the bridge will continue to be inspected to accommodate both vehicular and pedestrian traffic safely, especially for the one-lane temporary configuration. As noted in the FAQ, a temporary traffic signal will control traffic across the one-lane Clavey Rd bridge during construction. The signal will be actuated which means it will detect when a vehicle needs to cross the bridge and will provide the green light to safely cross the bridge. The opposing traffic will be held to a red light to ensure conflicting movements do not occur simultaneously. The bridge is designed to hold traffic during back up on the bridge. In addition, the temporary signal light on the one-lane bridge will be equipped with an Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) system to ensure emergency responders are given priority.

Construction Impacts

For the majority of the construction phase, the sidewalk will be located on south side. During the bridge replacement work, the sidewalk will be shifted. During all times, pedestrians/bicyclists will be protected from traffic by providing physical barrier or being located at a safe distance from edge of roadway. Learn more about pedestrian/bicyclist safety under Traffic Management.

No. Right of way acquisition is not included in the Clavey Road Project. All improvements are to be built in the public right of way.

Access into Aspen Lane will be maintained at all times during construction. Larkspur Drive will be closed in Traffic Pattern Stage I and Stage 2 of Contract 1. When Larkspur is closed access will be provided by taking Aspen Lane around to Larkspur Drive.

Per City Ordinance, construction hours are from 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday –Friday and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday. No work is allowed on Sundays or major holidays including Jewish holidays. Permission to work outside these restricted hours is evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the request is warranted.

Yes. The City will continue to perform all snow removal operations during construction or any winter shut down period.

A disruption in electrical service is not anticipated as part of the relocation of the ComEd poles for the Clavey Road Project. ComEd has built-in redundancy in their electrical grid system to allow them to make repairs or relocate poles or upgrade service without disruption of power to customers. If there is a disruption, and the City is notified, we will relay the message to the residents. It is important for residents in the immediate vicinity to sign up for email notification. If you would like to be added to the email list or have any questions or feedback, please reach out to Manny Gomez, P.E. at egomez@cityhpil.com or 847.432.0807.

Replacement of the water main will cause minimal service disruptions to residents and businesses. When a service line from a property is disconnected from old main and connected to new main, a short period (approximately 2 – 3 hours) of water shut-off will occur to perform the work. The City will provide notification to each property owner in advance of the service disruption. In addition, the City will provide door tags to notify those affected of the shutdown.

The decision to remove trees is not something the City takes lightly. The City has been a Tree City USA for 39 years which is a testament to our high standards for tree preservation, investment, maintenance and care. The Clavey Road Project will entail the removal of 148 trees of various sizes or species (79 trees for the reconstruction of the road and 69 for the additional lane during construction). No Heritage, Grove or Oak trees are planned to be removed. The removal of the trees is balanced with the consideration to provide two lanes of traffic for public safety purposes and to manage the traffic flow along this major corridor in our community.

City Forester Dr. Keith O’Herrin evaluated all trees considered for removal and found nearly all to be small and young/juvenile trees. The large old oak trees in front of Kennedy Park will be preserved. Upon completion of construction, the City will beautify the corridor by replacing the former trees with new large shade tree species, ornamental trees such as crabapple and Japanese tree lilac, and native shrubs and prairie wildflowers.

8' Multi-Use Path

The plans will be updated to include a yellow line on the new path to separate traffic flow.

Yes. The City will install additional pavement markings to help improve the connectivity for pedestrians in the short term.

The City works with residents and businesses to minimize impacts to driveways during construction. However, there may be times when access is affected. In those cases, the City will coordinate with all affected properties to ensure that access issues are worked out in advance.

The construction of a separate 8-ft multi-use path is in line with City-approved BikeWalk HP2030 Plan whereby a safe pathway is provided for recreational bicyclist or pedestrians. Currently, there is a 5’ sidewalk on the south side. With an 8-ft separate bike path, separate from the roadway, a connection is provided to two major bike trails on either side of project limits, Skokie Valley Bike Trail on the west side and the Robert McClory Bike Path (Green Bay Trail) on the east side and connection to Green Bay Road, a major arterial street to access Ravinia Festival.

Clavey Road is a major east-west roadway with a posted speed limit of 35 mph and few driveways or streets intersecting the street. For such long stretches of roadway, with no driveways to the north, a separate pathway for multi-users such as bicyclists and pedestrians increases safety. In addition, a bridge exists on this stretch of roadway whereby pedestrians/bicyclists and motorists are to be separated. Providing a separate multi-use path, similar to other bike-pedestrian paths in the City, ensures the safety of all traffic. Recently, the City completed a multi-use path on the north side of Walker Avenue from Highwood City limits to the west to Oak Street to the east.

As part of the planning process, the City explored installing the proposed 8-ft multi-use path on both the north and south side of Clavey. The elevation difference between the roadway and parkway area to the north is significant enough that any multi-use path installation requires a retaining wall, and the retaining wall would not allow for the path to be ADA accessible. In addition, if the path was on the north side, the Clavey Road bridge would need to be shifted southwards thereby creating an alignment concern for the entire Clavey Road corridor area. The parkway area would also be reduced between the bridge and the multi-use path.  Lastly, placing the walk on the north side entails extending the right-of-way onto private property and removal of private trees. Currently, there is a 5’ sidewalk on the south side and expanding this to an 8’ multi-use path will provide connectivity to Skokie Valley Trail on the west side and the Green Bay Trail on the east side.

 

The existing sidewalk located along the south side of Clavey Road is a 5′ sidewalk.  As part of the Clavey Road Improvements Project, an 8′ multi-use path is proposed. The design criteria and requirements are different for a sidewalk compared to a multi-use path.  The sidewalk is intended to carry only pedestrian traffic.  The multi-use path is intended to carry pedestrian traffic as well as bicycle traffic.  The existing pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Clavey Road initiated the requirement of a separate multi-use path. In addition, this multi-use path also provides the needed connection to the east and west as outlined in the City’s approved BikeWalk HP2030 Plan.

Crosswalk Enhancements

This is a good suggestion. The City will look into providing the refuge island at this location as we continue to develop the final engineering plans.

Yes. The City presented potential pedestrian safety enhancements at the pedestrian crossings such as advance warning signs, high visibility crosswalks, and unobstructed visibility. The proposed enhancements are in compliance with FHWA and IDOT requirements.

Landscaping Plans

As part of this project, the City will develop a landscape plan to beautify the corridor. High-quality trees along with the shrubbery will be part of an enhanced landscape plan that will be developed in consultation with the City Forester. The City plans to work with IDOT on the landscape plan, and if approved, will seek grant funds to pay for major portions of the plan. Additional details on the landscape plan will be available in 2021.

Aesthetic Items

The bridge railings will be a decorative brown railing.  The chain link mesh shown in the plans made available to the public will be updated to include the decorative brown railing, eliminating the chain link mesh.

The plans will include aesthetic treatments at the bridge to enhance the appearance of the new bridge and roadway.  The guardrail is proposed to be painted brown in color.  Also, the bridge concrete wall visible to the public will have a decorative form-liner to provide a patterned concrete finish.  The aesthetic enhancements were presented at the last public meeting held on March 18, 2020.

Project Funding

The grant fund is through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  Grant funds provided through the FHWA are intended to cover project costs related to highways to move traffic (e.g., pavement, curbs, storm sewers to drain the highway, bridges). Water mains are not considered essential in the movement of traffic and have not been eligible for grant funding through the FHWA.

Since this is a federally funded project, the construction bid will be managed by IDOT, not the City. The bid opening is administered through IDOT’s Springfield Office.  Usually, IDOT does select lowest responsible bid. The key word is responsible.

The City received $8,000,000 in federal grant funds for this project. Use of the federal funds requires the City to adhere to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and IDOT requirements. One of those requirements calls for the City to wait to receive IDOT approval before starting final engineering work.  The City may start the engineering prior to receipt of IDOT’s approval; however, all work done prior to IDOT’s approval must be funded 100% with City funds. The final engineering for this project is approximately $1,000,000. The grant provides approximately $800,000 for the final engineering. By starting before receiving IDOT approval the City may lose $800,000 in grant funding.

Based on current design plans, the cost estimate for this project is $10,000,000 with the grant paying 80% and City paying 205, estimated at $2,000,000.

Communication Plan

The City sends out email updates to residents who have asked for regular updates on the project. For updates or information pertaining to the Clavey Rd Improvements Project, please visit the City website, www.cityhpil.com/construction (Clavey Road tab). If you would like to be added to the email list or have any questions or feedback, please contact Emmanuel Gomez, P.E., City Engineer at egomez@cityhpil.com or at 847.432.0807.

The City hosted the following public meetings:

  • December 5, 2017
  • July 30, 2019
  • December 9, 2019 (Committee of the Whole Meeting)
  • March 18, 2020

December 5, 2017 – The City presented the scope and limits of the project. The initial traffic management plan called for one-way traffic on Clavey Road in the eastbound direction with westbound traffic being detoured using Green Bay Road, Lake Cook Road and US Route 41.  The initial traffic plan was not well-received by the public in attendance. More detailed meeting summaries are available by clicking here.

July 30, 2019 – The City presented an updated scope and limits of the project, pedestrian crosswalk safety enhancements, a new traffic management plan, and a tentative project schedule and design. The new two-way traffic plan requires removal of an additional 69 trees, additional construction stages which add approximately six months to the construction timeline, and additional costs associated with maintaining two-way traffic. More detailed meeting summaries are available by clicking here.

December 9, 2019 – A project update was presented to the City Council at a Committee of the Whole meeting. Individuals were notified of this public meeting and invited to attend, or watch the meeting via playback on the City’s web site.

March 18, 2020 – A virtual meeting was held in light of the COVID-19.  City staff presented a PowerPoint presentation providing an overview of the project and highlights of the preliminary engineering plans.   Residents were invited to email questions in advance and ask questions on the conference call.

The City will provide additional details to impacted residents and businesses on the project timeline and start of construction once a construction timeline has been received. Regular updates are posted on City website, newsletter, on the City’s social media, and on electronic message boards placed on Clavey Road. The City also sends out email updates to residents who have asked for regular updates on the project. To sign up for regular updates on the Clavey Road project, please reach out to Manny Gomez, P.E. at egomez@cityhpil.com or 847.432.0807.

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