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Chicago Ridge residents question roadwork progress

Kelly Malec is tired waiting for repairs her street Chicago Ridge.  |  Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

Kelly Malec is tired of waiting for repairs to her street in Chicago Ridge. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

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Residents in the 7000 block of 100th Street in Chicago Ridge know that street repairs take time.

But some are wondering why it is taking so much time to complete a one block section between Sayer and Nottingham avenues.

Work that started just before Memorial Day remained unfinished as of Aug. 22. Enough is enough says Kelly Malec, who shares a townhome on the street with her husband and their infant daughter.

Meanwhile, Chicago Ridge Public Works director Doug Koehler is asking for some patience.

The job has not been forgotten, and is pretty much on schedule, he said.

“We tried to do the best we could to keep the dust down. It’s a three-phase thing. It’s not like everything pops one right after the other,” Koehler said.

Malec has not seen much work in August.

“This is the first time they’ve made any progress in weeks. They could have repaired (the) 294 (tollway) in the amount of time they’ve been working on this,” Malec said Aug. 22.

“It’s just a nuisance. It’s summer time. There are kids playing everywhere. It’s a safety hazard and a dust hazard with all the dust flying,” she said.

“They finished the piping a month and a half to two months ago. Now it’s a question of fixing the street. It’s wear and tear on your car. It’s a mess, a nuisance,” she said.

She and her husband, Scott, welcomed their first-born, Heidi, two months ago, but some relatives have been unable to visit because there’s no street parking available due to the project, she said.

“We usually have a barbecue, but we didn’t this year because of that (road work). And we can’t invite anybody over because there’s no parking. It’s just frustrating,” she said.

“They finished the piping a month and a half to two months ago. Now it’s a question of fixing the street. It’s wear and tear on your car. It’s a mess, a nuisance,” she said.

She’s called the village hall a few times “but I didn’t really get a straight answer.”

“I understand there’s a pecking order, but this has been months. I know my other neighbors are fed up, too,” Malec said.

Neighbor Tony Provenzano, who has lived there for seven years, said the roadwork “has been a long process.”

“Initially, there was steady work going on. Then, all of a sudden, it got to be they’d come out for a couple hours, leave for a couple days, come back, leave,” Provenzano aid.

“You assume there’s going to be some inconvenience, but this is a little longer than normal,” he said.

The village crews are not doing the work. The project was contracted out to private companies, Koehler said. Although residents may think the job is taking too long, it’s pretty much where it was expected, he said.

“It’s all under contract. They put in a new water main, and you have to make sure everything is right. You have to take (water) samples and you have to verify there’s no bacteria in the water before you can connect to individual buildings,” Koehler said.

After the water main was installed, broken and cracked curbing was replaced.

“The final prep was supposed to be (Aug. 22) and then it’s ready for pavement,,” he said.

Asked what he thought about complaints that the work is moving slowly, he offered some explanation.

“Here’s the problem. She’s on 100th Street. There was over 1,000 feet of water main to be put in for this project. There’s another block on Nottingham. Her block was torn up first, then you have to pressure test it, chlorinate it, flush that out and then fill it with clean, potable water and take samples before you can connect to it. Then they’re tearing up Nottingham. It’s a progression. She just happened to be on the block they started first,” Koehler said.

Once all the water main is in and tested, buildings are reconnected and when that’s done, the street can be finished, he said.

Crowley-Shepard Asphalt Co., Chicago Ridge, is in charge of the street repair, Koehler said. Alstrerda Construction, 11832 S. Harding Ave., Alsip, did the water main work.



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