Oak Brook pushes 22nd Street beautification
Updated: June 25, 2012 1:16AM
The Oak Brook Streetscape Committee has authorized village officials to move forward on a beautification project encompassing a large portion of the intersection at York Road and 22nd Street.
Committee chairman Jeff Kennedy estimates the total cost of the project to be between $1.5 million and $1.75 million and will include new streetlights and median planters. An Illinois Department of Transportation Enhancement Program grant could cover a majority of the costs.
The committee initially talked about scaling down the project, assuming it would better its chances at the grant, but, in the end, chose to include all aspects.
Committee members added that the village is prepared to make up the difference if the project’s cost is more expensive than IDOT’s upper limit.
A 2 percent hotel tax raises funds for the village to spend on beautification; and the fund has a balance of about $2 million. Village officials estimate the fund takes in $525,000 annually.
Hitchcock Design Group architect Tim King has worked with the village on beatification projects and said IDOT typically looks for projects that can move forward quickly. The 22nd and York effort appears to be one of those projects.
If the village is awarded an ITEP grant, it would cover 80 percent of the costs of new, plant-filled medians and 50 percent of the new streetlights. The village received an ITEP grant for the beautification project on 22nd Street from Spring Road to Salt Creek and will again apply for the grant to cover the York Road project.
“(Village Attorney Peter Friedman) says we can spend that money anywhere in the village as long as it’s related to bringing traffic to the hotels and shopping center,” Kennedy said. “It’s going to look hodge-podgy, if we only do street lighting or only do medians.
“Then it doesn’t match up with what we’re going to do on the rest of 22nd Street.”
Construction is expected to begin this summer on beautification improvements to 22nd Street from Spring Road to Salt Creek. The village contribution to the project will be $125,000 with the already approved ITEP grant picking up the rest of the costs.
The project, which most likely wouldn’t begin construction until 2014 at the earliest, would run on 22nd Street from Salt Creek to Interstate 294 and on York Road from Dover Drive to Clearwater Drive.
“Anything we do wouldn’t happen sooner than 2014,” Kennedy said.
The committee would like to continue to beautify the village on 22nd Street south of the Oakbrook Center mall and west of Route 83, but some of the roadway lies in Oakbrook Terrace and would require intergovernmental agreements.