City plans parking lot improvements at Howard Street, Tallmadge Park


Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer

Water fills a pothole at the lot near Tallmadge Park. Construction is scheduled to begin as early as next week.

Sam Heller, Reporter

The City of Evanston plans to begin construction on a new metered parking lot at 717 Howard St. and make improvements to the lot next to Tallmadge Park, according to a Public Works news release.

The projects are part of the 2019 parking lot improvements projects. Each project is scheduled to take six weeks and will run over the course of three months.

The Howard Street lot will be adjacent to the Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, which moved from Rogers Park in December. Construction is expected to begin in May and will finish in July. The project comes in response to an increase in economic activity, said Lara Biggs, the city’s engineer and capital planning bureau chief.

“Over time there has been a tremendous amount of economic development there,” Biggs said. “We have been seeing a lot of businesses recently come into Howard Street and be really successful.”

Construction on the lot will include new pavement, lighting, and drainage work. The city will also have to construct a driveway from Howard Street which will require minor sidewalk repairs, according to the news release.

The renovations at the Tallmadge Park lot will begin as soon as next week. Biggs said the city aims to finish renovations as early as the end of May and before summer camps are in session. It will be closed while construction is taking place. Biggs said she recognizes the problems closing this lot may cause for frequent users.

“We know it is a hardship and we want to get through it as quickly as possible,” Biggs said.

The developments will involve lighting improvements, new fencing and a complete repavement. Biggs said these developments attempt to mitigate resident complaints the city has been hearing for some time.

According to Biggs, the improvements made to the Tallmadge Park parking lot are a long time coming and have been in discussion for several years, but other projects have continuously superseded the lot.

For both lots, the city has contracted Chicagoland Paving Contractors Inc., a paving and asphalt business.

“We were read as a low bid,” said William Bowes, owner and vice president of Chicago Paving Contractors Inc., who has been in the business for 32 years, “and now we are ready to go over there and do the job.”

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