The University of Chicago has begun improvements on the Ellis and Woodlawn crossings of the Midway Plaisance.
The university is paying to widen the sidewalks and install new lighting along the two crossings.
Sidewalks will be widened to as wide as 35 feet from about 5 feet currently in the middle of the crossing. New planters and trees will be installed to separate pedestrians from traffic and new lit handrails will be added.
In planning for more than a year, the improvements will be under construction through December. Although technically on Park District and Chicago Department of Transportation property, the university will perform and pay for all the work.
A parking lane on the east- and west-bound lanes of traffic will temporarily be closed during construction.
The Midway improvement is one of several construction projects on campus over the summer.
Much of the work is confined to interior renovations of buildings on the campus’ main quadrangle, but several external projects will create construction noise and dust during the summer months.
Façade renovation on Ryerson Hall in the interior of the quad began in June and will continue through September.
Pick Hall on University Avenue and 58th Street will have piping installed underground connecting the building to the chilled water lines. Though much of the work is limited to the interior of the quad, there will be some construction traffic and noise until the project is completed in September.
Work resumed the last week of July on four major university construction projects after a dispute between the state and unions working on Illinois highway projects was resolved. The unions during their dispute with the state had also ceased work on the Mansueto Library, the hospital pavilion, the Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts and the Chicago Theological Seminary.
Though close to a month of work was lost during the strike, university officials said they were not yet adjusting the timelines for any of the projects.