Park Forest Prepares for Major Orchard Drive Renovation

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Park Forest is laying the groundwork for a major renovation of Orchard Drive north of Sauk Trail. The project will include complete replacement of the road from Lakewood Boulevard north to the Lincoln Highway, and resurfacing from Lakewood south to Sauk Trail.

Village Manager Tom Mick said the Village is currently doing engineering work on the project, which is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2010.

The Village has secured a $6,720,000 earmark from the federal government relating to the full replacement and renovation of Orchard Drive from Rt. 30 to Lakewood Boulevard. The project is estimated to cost between $10 and $11 million.

“What’s nice about that [the earmark] is an 80 / 20 split. That’s the 80% portion. It had been a 70 / 30 split, which in essence gets us about $800,000 in savings,” Mick said.

The manager believes the Village will also receive $500,000 from the federal government for sewer repair. Both of these are part of the federal stimulus package passed in Congress.

Mick said the Village also received a $409,000 grant for a resurfacing project for Orchard from Lakewood to Sauk Trail. “It’s not a full-blown dig-up and reconstruction like we’re going to do with the rest of Orchard. It’s a resurfacing and a relaying of water mains.”

The manager anticipates some restructuring of Orchard south of Lakewood as well, “because there are some dangerous curves out there.”

Resurfacing Lakewood Boulevard

The Village Manager said there are plans for resurfacing Lakewood from Westwood Drive to Forest Boulevard. This would also include a portion of Cunningham Drive. The project is contingent on passage of the State of Illinois Mini-Capital Bill. Park Forest’s portion would be a $515,854 grant that would cover the entire resurfacing.

“If the governor signs that capital bill, we’d have that,” the manager said. “That’s our plan.”

The Village has federal and state grant applications in excess of $20 million. So far, the Village Manager believes just over $10 million have been or will be awarded.