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New cash will let Oak Park finish work on Ridgeland, Marion viaducts

Oak Park plans to finish $1.1 million in improvements to viaducts on Marion Street and Ridgeland Avenue, thanks to $112,482 in additional funds granted by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

A combination of the funding increase and reductions in the overall scope of the projects will finally bring them within budget, Oak Park Village Engineer Jim Budrick said in a report to the Village Board in December. The board approved the funding increase as part of its consent agenda on Dec. 2.

Final changes in the scope of the projects included removing decorative signage from the Ridgeland viaduct, Budrick said.

That changed marked the second such reduction in the projects, after the original request for bids yielded just one that was $400,000 more than Oak Park and IDOT had budgeted, he said.

In spring 2013, the scope was modified by removing one overhead sign from the Ridgeland viaduct and shortening the arched panels under the Marion viaduct, Budrick said.

The project was rebid and came in lower than the original bid, but still over budget by $250,000, he said. Oak Park contacted state officials to request additional funds and explore ways to reduce costs, Budrick said.

After the signage was removed from Ridgeland, IDOT agreed to provide the additional $112,482, he said.

In 2010, IDOT awarded Oak Park an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant to make improvements to the Marion Street and Ridgeland Avenue viaducts. A $1.1 million contract for the work is currently in the final stages of completion, Budrick said.

The Ridgeland project included painting and cleaning the bridge, installing new LED lighting similar to the lighting at the Oak Park Avenue viaduct, and erecting two new covered bike shelters on each side of Ridgeland, he said in March.

The Marion work included cleaning and painting of the structure, installing new LED lighting, refurbishing the overhead sign structure, and installing art panels and arched panels at each of the four entrance points, Budrick said.

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