Western Avenue Realignment
October 27th, 2015
Village of Glendale Heights.
Local government agencies continue to seek opportunities to generate revenue and drive economic development. To achieve this goal, the Village of Glendale Heights is capitalizing on one of its greatest geographical assets – North Avenue (IL 64). There are not many organizations that would look at a roadway as an asset considering the expenses generally associated with pavement maintenance. However, North Avenue has an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 60,000 vehicles per day, meaning that at least 60,000 people – not counting passengers – traveling this corridor to and from work, to go shopping, to grab a bite to eat, or to fill up their fuel tank. Many developers and business owners would love this type of exposure, yet portions of North Avenue remain undeveloped.
The Glendale Heights’ Administration recognized that the roadway geometry of Western Avenue at the intersection of North Avenue would limit development in the vicinity due to the T-intersection with restricted turning movements. The Village used Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to undertake a large Capital Improvement project to realign approximately 700 feet of Western Avenue from north of 3rd Street to North Avenue to better align with Pearl Avenue. This created a four-legged intersection with no restricted turning movements and potential for a future traffic signal.
The roadway relocation included installation of all new utilities including storm sewer, water main, sanitary sewer and roadway lighting. Overhead power and communication lines were moved underground to increase the curb appeal of the North Avenue frontage. Adjacent to an existing wetland, a 1.3 acre detention pond was constructed with native emergent plants and a hemi-marsh habitat. The pond was sized to accommodate stormwater storage requirements for future development, allowing a potential developer to maximize their footprint.
The vacated right-of-way for old Western Avenue will be combined with additional parcels fronting North Avenue and be placed on the open market. The upfront investment by the Village enabled Glendale Heights to strategically capitalize on the limited property available along North Avenue – a major thoroughfare suited for a wide variety of prospective tenants. The ultimate goal is to attract a buyer which will spur additional development within the TIF district and North Avenue corridor. This will allow the Village to recoup the upfront costs and reap the benefits of the increased revenue generated in order to keep tax rates low.
Andrew Pufundt, PE
Civil Engineering Department
Ryan Lindeman, PE