Construction on Western Ave. affecting travel times for students


Sewer work related to the removal of the viaduct over Belmont Avenue will affect commutes for students and staff as construction extends north from Logan to Addison in December.

By Isabel Trumbull and Kalyn Story

Congestion on Western Avenue resulting from a major sewer construction project is beginning to affect Lane students and staff driving north from Logan Boulevard.

Principal Dr. Christopher Dignam announced at the Dec. 8 Local School Council meeting that the construction will not reach Lane until this coming summer. Following the pipes’ replacement, the viaduct over Belmont will be torn down.

In November, Alderman Pawar’s Chief of Staff, Jim Poole, had said the construction was estimated to reach Lane at some point in December or January, but those plans subsequently changed.

The viaduct over Belmont is now scheduled to come down during the summer of 2015, but before that happens the city must update the water pipes below Western Avenue.

The pipes under Western date back to the 1920s and are being replaced through the City of Chicago’s Department of Water Maintenance.

While construction is going on near Lane, the school’s water supply will need to be turned off.

According to Poole, Western will be reduced to one lane each direction between Logan and Waveland. Parking lanes will also be closed off.

Traffic jams due to the pipe replacement and viaduct may affect Lane students from now through summer 2015, depending on when construction is completed.

“The attendance office will take traffic concerns into account when distributing tardies, but students will need to plan ahead for traffic delays,” Dignam said.

**Updated Dec. 17, 2014