The Department of Water Management has informed me that contractors will begin water main work on Ashland from Touhy to Pratt, and Morse, from Greenview to Ashland. The work is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 2nd.
This work will make water service more reliable for residents, businesses, and institutions and firefighters, while reducing the need for costly and inconvenient repairs caused by emergency water main breaks.
The entire project should take about two months to complete.
Phase One – Morse from Greenview to Ashland
In the first phase of the project, the contractors will install a new water main on the north side of Morse from Greenview to Ashland. This should take about a week to complete. Once done, crews will install a temporary concrete cap over the trench where the new main was installed.
My office will work with affected businesses and the senior building at 1528 W. Morse to minimize water disruptions.
Phase Two – Ashland from Touhy to Pratt
Crews will start on Ashland at Touhy and then work their way south on Ashland, block by block, to the alley just north of Pratt. During this phase of the work, crews will transfer water service from a water main installed in 1916 to a 1932 water main.
You may ask: “Why are we still using a water main installed in 1932? Why not install a new water main?”
The answer is the 1932 water is cast iron, and still in great shape. The 1932 water main is on the west side of Ashland; the 1916 main being “retired” is on the east side of the street.
Residents on the west side of the street already get water from the 1932 main. To provide water service to residents on the east side of the street, crews will cut lateral trenches across Ashland and lay new connection lines to those buildings . The 1916 water main will not be removed.
In the final phase of the work, crews will attach the new connection lines to the existing 1932 water main. This requires crews to dig 5-foot by 5-foot holes in the parkway at each connection point. The parkways will be completely restored in the spring, and the holes will be temporarily filled in the interim.
Upon completion of work on each block, the excavated part of the streets will be covered with concrete until they are resurfaced with new asphalt in the spring when the asphalt plants have reopened.
Work will proceed in one-block increments. Parking will be prohibited from 7:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. on both sides of the block where crews are working. For the most part, work will be limited to weekdays only. However, under some extenuating circumstances, work may take place on a Saturday, with advance notice given. Parking will be allowed after 4:00 p.m., but you must move your car before the 7:00 a.m. workday begins. I have asked the contractor to limit parking restrictions to active construction sites and areas where equipment must be stored.
If you use these construction areas for overnight parking, please be sure to move your car before the 7:00 a.m. workday begins. If you don’t, your vehicle may be relocated to another street in the vicinity, but not ticketed. Call 311 with your license plate number to find the location of your vehicle. Four-wheel drive vehicles cannot be relocated and will be towed to a city impound lot. All fees and fines will apply.
Traffic will remain open on both Morse and Ashland throughout construction. At times, traffic will be limited to one lane, with flaggers directing the flow of vehicles.
If you live in the affected area, you will experience water service disruption when your property is connected to the new main. Notice will be posted 24 hours in advance of the work. Also be aware that you may experience emergency water shut-offs with little to no notice. However, crews will try to avoid that if at all possible.
Though you will experience some temporary inconvenience and street disruptions, I will make sure residents and other stakeholders in the area are informed of the project’s progress every step of the way. Project managers and my office will work closely with churches, schools, day care centers, and other institutions on Ashland and on Morse to minimize disruptions during this work. I will publish weekly updates on my website.
If you would like to receive regular email updates about the project, visit BuildingANewChicago.org to register for the WaterALERT program. Enter your name, email address and the project identification number: 1501254.
In addition, fliers will be distributed door-to-door in the affected areas to inform residents of any major developments.
I apologize in advance for the temporary inconvenience this project will entail, but at the end, we will enjoy a more reliable water service and newly resurfaced streets on much of Ashland in the work area, and on Morse from Greenview to Ashland.
If you have any questions, please reply to this email, or call my Ward Service Office at 773-338-5796.