Eyes on the Street: Construction Pushes Walkers Into Fullerton Ave.

Dangerous construction site conditions
One person walks in the construction site at Washtenaw and Fullerton, while another walks in the roadway.

Pedestrians walking along Fullerton Avenue in Logan Square have been forced off the sidewalks, and into the street, by Bigane Paving’s curb ramp construction. Bigane has failed to provide the required detour for pedestrians, so pedestrians have to walk in the street amidst busy traffic.

Worse yet, people who use wheelchairs aren’t able to use the now non-existent sidewalk at all. Local parent Gin Kilgore wrote us to say “a mother at Goethe School rolls with her child to school in a wheelchair, and said it’s very difficult for her to travel on Fullerton sidewalks now.”

Dangerous construction site conditions
A woman walks through the curb ramp construction site at California and Fullerton.

I notified the Chicago Department of Transportation on Thursday morning, after Kilgore informed me about the problem up and down Fullerton. The situation has persisted on both sides of Fullerton for more than a week. According to the city’s open data portal, Bigane is doing the sidewalk repairs before a larger contract to resurface Fullerton.

A CDOT official responded soon after my email yesterday, telling me that the contractor would have the sites changed by the end of Thursday. Yet this morning, the detours still weren’t in place. One resident had this to say in response to the conditions this morning:


CDOT’s rules and regulations specify that a contractor must develop a detour plan before disrupting a pedestrian or transit facility, and provide a protected walkway on the same side of the street when such disruptions happen. It also says, “Pedestrians should not be led into conflict with vehicles, equipment, and operations around the work site.”

Construction now blocks off the entire bus stop area
The construction area around the curb ramp on the southwest corner of Fullerton at California blocks people from boarding at the bus stop here.

Tell us where else you see contractors failing to provide detours around sidewalk construction.

Updated to add transit. 

  • Joe Robinson

    Moreover, there has been some lousy work done at these intersections. At the northeast corner of Fullerton and Logan, new ADA ramps were installed recently. But the pavement in the road around the ramps remains torn up. It’s worse than it was before the recent construction. And there is loose gravel.

  • Anthony P

    the same exact thing at N Kedzie & Wilson

  • Anon

    Same thing on Armitage between Damen and Western

  • BlueFairlane

    Here are pictures I took a little while ago on the northeast corner of Fullerton and Maplewood. I don’t know if they think they’re done, but as things stand there are a good six inches between the edge of the curb cut and the current street surface. That would take a heck of a wheel chair.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/8432336@N08/15176352768/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/8432336@N08/15176352788/

  • FedUpPed

    This happens all over the city, any time there is construction that overtakes the sidewalk. It really is the exception – and not the rule – when a contractor makes reasonable accommodations for pedestrians. I wish the city would do more to demand better compliance among all of its contractors.

  • High_n_Dry

    Sheeit. I’m about to walk in this and break an ankle. Pay day! Courtesy of Chicago tax payers.

  • SMH0ffa
  • High_n_Dry

    Thanks for the link. I’m unfamiliar with this show… but color me trashy!

    Seriously though, the city is just asking to be sued by leaving hazards like this around.

  • J.B.

    Hah, I just took this picture this morning at Clark and Ridge. It’s already a terrible intersection for pedestrians, and now it’s worse. To bring things to a whole new level of Kafka-ness, the signs on both side say “Use Other Side”.

  • It appears to be procedure to rebuild the curb ramps before the road is rebuilt. This creates problem that @Coolebra:disqus highlights above.

  • The situation is the same at Fullerton/California. Curb ramps are done prior to resurfacing the corners (which seems proper), but the duration between tasks is often weeks long.

  • leahjones

    It’s been similar along School starting at Ashland and heading east past Southport for the last couple weeks. The curb cuts are finally in, but so far they haven’t removed the plastic from the orange bumpy panels. School is getting repaved today, so hopefully it’ll be finished this week.

  • Anne A

    I’ve seen this situation in Beverly many many times in the last few years. Sometimes most of the corners in an area were finally filled in and one or two were forgotten for weeks, requiring follow-up phone calls to get them done before winter. Most of the contractors getting these jobs are NOT doing a good job with one or more aspects of the work.

    Sometimes it’s just how the site is handled during construction. Sometimes the installation itself is crappy and fails within 2-3 years (bumpy plate heaving up or crumbling), leaving worse conditions than what existed before the so-called upgrade.

  • jimsey

    there’s a new fun one at North Point and N California, NB traffic is now missing its stop sign. Its laying on the ground.

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