MWRD sludge pipeline replacement project planned for Devon Avenue
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
Heavy construction, lane closures and detours are scheduled through possibly next year to replace an existing sludge pipeline under Devon Avenue between McCormick Boulevard and Cicero Avenue beginning May 15, according to officials.
The Village of Lincolnwood recently announced that Joel Kennedy Constructing Corp. has been contracted by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to replace the aging sludge pipe in Centennial Park, 6801 N. McCormick Blvd. As this works ends, the project will move to Devon.
Work on Devon will be completed in three sections from east to west. First from McCormick to Lincoln Avenue, then Lincoln to Crawford Avenue, and finally from Crawford to Cicero, the village said. Each phase will take approximately 2 to 3 months to complete, officials said.
“There will be open digging probably every 50 feet and boring every several hundred feet and they will pull the pipe and replace it going from hole to hole (on Devon),” said interim Lincolnwood Public Works director Mike Reynolds.
“There will be intermittent traffic delays. When it’s down to one lane there will be delays but hopefully there will be one lane open during the entire process,” Reynolds said.
Traffic and parking lanes on Devon will be closed at various locations depending on the location of the crew. Access to side streets within each section of the project will not be allowed, the village said in a news release.
Reynolds said that the contractor will work with residents and businesses throughout the construction process to ensure driveway access is coordinated and goes “as smoothly as possible.”
MWRD Commissioner Dan Pogorzelski said that the district worked with the contractor to expedite a section of pipeline replacement through Lincolnwood under Centennial Park.
“By employing an open-cut operation to complete the section, we had to close portions of the park and bike lanes, but this allowed us to accelerate the project. We anticipate having the bike lanes open again by early June followed by additional landscaping improvements,” Pogorzelski said.
“This critical project calls for the replacement of 19,000 feet of pipe which has a diameter of 20 inches. This pipeline allows the MWRD to convey solid waste from the O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie to our Stickney Water Reclamation Plant,” Pogorzelski said.
“The remainder of the project will be completed by 2025 and will incorporate horizontal drilling with minimal impact to the surrounding vicinity. While it might sound like a dirty job, this work is essential to protect our region and local waterways. We appreciate the patience of Lincolnwood, Skokie, and other adjacent communities while we diligently work to complete this important project,” he said. Pogorzelski said the total cost of the project is estimated at $27.2 million.