Palos to straighten rural road

  • Written by Margaret Pretkelis

  Road construction is on the agenda for a second consecutive summer in Palos Hills, as city officials last week announced plans to improve 90th Avenue.

  The project with an estimated cost of $220,000 will align the five-block stretch of the road between 103rd and 98th streets, according to Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett. City officials are hopeful work can begin before fall, and be completed in about one month.
  The construction will be funded with a portion of the city’s annual share of state Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) money. Palos Hills receives between $350,000 and $375,000 in MFT funds, Bennett said.
  The segment of 90th Avenue to be widened serves as a geographical divider between the eastern edge of the White Oak Woods Forest Preserve and some of the city’s west-most residential neighborhoods. The work is necessary because of the road’s inconsistent width, particularly the portions that narrow, Bennett said.
  “90th Avenue has never been a straight street,” he added. “It starts wide and goes narrow, and then goes wide and narrow again, which is a safety hazard.”
  The project will allow traffic in both directions to move more safely and in less confined quarters, according to Bennett.
  “It will improve the condition of the road, but it will still remain a rural road,” Bennett said, noting there will be no additional work such as gutters or curbs.
  90th Avenue was last resurfaced about 10 to 12 years ago, the mayor said.
  The construction should have a limited impact on residents who live on 90th Avenue, but may require traffic to be temporarily redirected to one side of the road for several minutes during portions of the work, said Palos Hills Public Works Commissioner Dave Weakley.
  “People will be able to get in and out of their homes fine,” Weakley added. “It’ll be business as usual.”