Garfield construction began Monday

Thoroughfare to be rebuilt in concrete in four sections, with work to finish in October

Summer road construction is underway in Hinsdale.

Garfield Avenue on Monday was closed between Fourth and Seventh streets as part of a $2.1 million project to rebuild the street between First and 55th streets in concrete.

The roadway will be rebuilt in four sections, said Al Diaz, assistant village engineer. The second phase will be just north of the first.

"We actually stipulated that the section of Garfield from First to Fourth streets should be addressed when the middle school is out of session," Diaz said.

The third phase will be from Seventh Street to 55th Street, and the final phase will be resurfacing Garfield from First Street to Chicago Avenue.

Depending on the length of the section, Garfield could be closed from four to seven weeks.

"There won't be any cross street access within the closed section because those intersections will be paved in concrete," Diaz said.

Access to Garfield off 55th Street also will be prohibited for the entire project to help limit the amount of through traffic in the construction zone, Diaz said.

The process involves digging up the existing roadway, installing forms, pouring the concrete and letting it cure, which can take up to a week.

Design work began last year, Diaz said.

"Typically we design things the year prior and then put it out to bid early in the season to take advantage of better pricing and to get any early start on the project, especially one this large," he said.

Crews try to begin work in May so the construction season can be finished up in mid-October.

"Come late October, it gets dicey as to when we can pave," Diaz said. "A lot of the materials we use have temperature constraints, even if it's asphalt or concrete. If it gets too cold, it takes longer to cure the material."

The project is being funded by $906,000 in federal Surface Transportation Program funds, $677,000 in REBUILD Illinois bond funds and $517,000 in motor fuel tax funds.

Residents can check construction progress on the village website at Officials expect to post weekly updates on Thursdays or Fridays.

Diaz encouraged residents to be patient.

"The contractor is already showing signs of trying to expedite some of the work by having multiple crews and contractors on site," he said. "That shows us he's looking to try to get as much work done as fast as possible. They may end up finishing early, but with the weather, we never know."

Concrete streets typically have a life span of 40 years, Diaz said.

"We do have to do some maintenance. There will be some patching and some crack filling, but not much," he said. "There's more maintenance with the asphalt pavement."

The village also will resurface 10 streets and two parking lots this summer (see sidebar) at a cost of almost $720,000. The resurfacing budget was only $615,000, but the Garfield project came in $557,000 under budget, Trustee Neale Byrnes said at last week's Hinsdale Village Board meeting.

"So we're good to go with the entire project," Byrnes said.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean