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Clavey Road Improvements Project

Clavey Road Improvements Project
The City anticipates completion of Phase II Final Engineering in 2020 with construction to begin either late 2020 or early 2021.
Please note - the Q&A is being updated with the latest information as it becomes available. Additional questions are added as they are received. Please reference this page for accurate information about the project. If your question has not been answered below, please email or call 847.432.0807.

****UPDATE AS OF 03.16.2020****

The Clavey Rd Improvement Project Conference Call-In Virtual Meeting is scheduled for this Wed, March 18 starting at 6 PM. Please note the Conference Call-In details below. Here's the link to the Project presentation that will be reviewed on Wed, March 18.

 If you plan to call-in, please RSVP to to get a count on number of attendees.

For inquiries prior to the meeting or to ask questions during the virtual meeting, please send an email to

Clavey Road Improvements Virtual Meeting
Wed, March 18, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM (CDT)

United States: +1 (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 125-017-917

As a reminder, please submit comments to

****UPDATE AS OF 03.13.2020****

 In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the importance of maintaining social distancing to help stop the spread of the virus, the Clavey Road Improvement Project meeting will be modified to a conference call.  Please RSVP to the City at if you are interested in participating so we can ascertain the approximate number of parties that will be calling.  The agenda for the meeting can be viewed by clicking on this link.  To ensure that we are able to address all comments and update the engineering plans, please submit comments no later than April 3, 2020.  The City of Highland Park is closely monitoring the developing situation of COVID-19 in partnership with the Lake County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health area governments and partner agencies.  Information about the City of Highland Park’s response may be accessed at, via social media and through the City’s eNews. 

Clavey Road Meeting
Wed, Mar 18, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM (CDT)

United States: +1 (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 125-017-917

****UPDATE AS OF 03.09.2020****
The City will host a Clavey Road Reconstruction Project Engineering Plan Review Public Meeting on March 18, 2020, from 6 PM - 7 PM at City Hall,
1707 St. Johns Ave. The purpose of this meeting is to present the project engineering plans. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. The plans mirror the project description and scope posted on the City's website at

****NEW UPDATE AS OF 03.03.2020****

The City received the preliminary plans for the Clavey Road Reconstruction Project. The plans are available hereIf you wish to provide the City with your comments feel free to do so by sending us your written comments at In the subject line of your email please indicate “Clavey Road Plan Review Comments”. 

To ensure that we are able to address all comments to update our plans we ask that you submit your comments no later than April 3, 2020. Comments may be used to update the preliminary plans.  The next step in the design process is to update the preliminary plans and submit Pre-Final Plans to IDOT.  The Pre-Final Plans are scheduled to be sent to IDOT in May. Project construction is tentatively scheduled to commence in early 2021. 

Clavey Road is a major east-west arterial route accessed daily by residents and visitors year-round, especially in the summer during Ravinia Festival season. The City’s public infrastructure along Clavey Rd, namely watermain, storm sewer, and roadway, has deteriorated beyond normal repair. As such, the Clavey Road Improvements Project was prioritized in the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to undertake necessary infrastructure improvements. The limits of the project are from the Route 41 ramp to the west to Green Bay Road to the east. In addition to the underground infrastructure upgrades, the Clavey Road Bridge over the Skokie River will also be replaced along with the installation of a new 8-foot multi-use path on the south side of the street. The City was able to successfully secure a US Department of Transportation Surface Transportation Program (STP) Grant, administered by Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), for the Clavey Road Improvements Project that pays for 80% of the project costs. Based on current design plans, the cost estimate for this project is $10,000,000 with the grant paying $8,000,000.

The scope of the project includes:
  • Reconstruction of Clavey Road from U.S. Route 41 to Green Bay Road;
  • Replacement of the Clavey Road Bridge over Skokie River;
  • Multiple pedestrian crosswalks safety enhancements;
  • Upsizing storm sewers to meet current City standards;
  • Replacement of an aging watermain;
  • New 8-foot wide asphalt multi-use path on the south side of Clavey Road;
  • New landscape enhancements including high quality trees replacement; and
  • Improved signage.

Following is a list of questions and answers. Additional information can be found at Questions can be directed to Manny Gomez, P.E. at or 847.432.0807.


Clavey Road Improvements Project Q&As

1.               Why is the Clavey Road Improvements Project being undertaken?
The City’s infrastructure, namely watermain, storm sewer, and roadway, has deteriorated significantly. Over the years, the concrete roadway section has spalled, and the temporary asphalt repairs performed are not withholding the integrity of the pavement. As such, the Clavey Road Improvements Project was prioritized in the City’s Capital Improvement Program to undertake the necessary infrastructure improvements.

2.              What is the timeline for construction and why was there a delay?
The City received $8,000,000 in federal grant funds in 2015. Any federal construction grant funds are required to adhere to strict IDOT guidelines. A construction project follows three phases with each phase requiring IDOT approval prior to the start of the phase. For the Clavey Road Project, the phases are Phase I- Preliminary Engineering; Phase II- Final Design Engineering; and Phase III- Construction. Please see the below timeline for each phase:

Phase I was initiated in August 2015 and completed in November of 2018.  It is not an uncommon practice for Phase I Preliminary Engineering approval to take more than two years, especially for a project of this size and scope. IDOT provided approval for the Phase I Preliminary Engineering in November 2018. The City engaged in engineering consulting services to begin paperwork submission to IDOT for Phase II Final Engineering. A bidding schedule will not be available until Phase II Engineering begins. Plans and specifications will be available after the City initiates Phase II Final Engineering. For example, project specific specifications are part of the scope of the contract for Phase II Final Engineering.  Since IDOT has not granted approval to start Phase II Final Engineering, the City does not have specifications. The City will post the Phase II Final Engineering and specifications upon availability and notify residents.

Phase II Final Engineering has been approved by IDOT. To adhere to IDOT guidelines, the City is required to implement a Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process to select a firm for Phase II Engineering. The QBS was initiated in November of 2018 immediately after approval of Phase I Preliminary Engineering and completed January 2019.  The QBS process included an advertisement in a local newspaper, submittal of various documents indicative of a firms qualifications, review of these documents and face-to-face interviews with firms. Through this process, Ciorba Group, Inc. was selected to perform Phase II Final Engineering work. The required engineering and funding agreements were sent to IDOT in January of 2019 for IDOT’s review and approval.  IDOT completed its preliminary review of the agreements with comments in June of 2019. The City re-submitted the approved agreements to IDOT in July 2019 and final approval from IDOT was received in December to begin the start of Phase II Final Engineering. The City anticipates completion of Phase II Final Engineering in 2020.

 Phase III will begin either late 2020 or early 2021. Construction should mostly be completed in 2021 with landscaping anticipated to be completed in early 2022.

 3.            What is the project schedule and project specifications?
City received approval from IDOT in November 2019 to start Phase II Final Engineering. City plans to post the plans on our website in spring 2020 and will seek public feedback on the plans. The project is scheduled tentatively to be on IDOT’s November 2020 letting with construction anticipated to begin early spring 2021.

The following standard specifications and guidelines are used to prepare bid documents for a FHWA and IDOT grant funded projects: 1) Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction; 2) Supplemental Specifications and Recurring Special Provisions; 3) State Standard Drawings; 4) District One Details; 5) Bureau of Design and Environment Manual (BDE); 6) Bureau of Local Roads and Streets Manual (BLRS); 7) Project specific Special Provisions (to be developed during final engineering); 8) Bureau of Design and Environment (BDE) Special Provisions; 9) IDOT Bridge Manual; 10) Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)

4.            Will there be disruption of water service when the watermain is replaced?
Replacement of the watermain will cause minimal service disruptions to residents and businesses.  When a service line from a property is disconnected from old main and connected to new main, a short period (approximately 2 - 3 hours) of water shut-off will occur to perform the work. The City will provide notification to each property owner in advance of the service disruption. In addition, the City will provide door tags to notify those affected of the shutdown.

5.            Will there be disruption of electric service when ComEd replaces the poles?
A disruption in electrical service is not anticipated as part of the relocation of the ComEd poles for the Clavey Road Project. ComEd has built-in redundancy in their electrical grid system to allow them to make repairs or relocate poles or upgrade service without disruption of power to customers. If there is a disruption, and the City is notified, we will relay the message to the residents. It is important for residents in the immediate vicinity to sign up for email notification.  If you would like to be added to the email list or have any questions or feedback, please contact Emmanuel Gomez, P.E., City Engineer at or at 847.432.0807.

 6.            Will the road be plowed in the winter season?
Yes. The City will continue to perform all snow removal operations during construction or any winter shut down period.

7.            Will the bridge that carries Clavey Road be able to carry traffic during construction?
Yes. The Clavey Road bridge is inspected on a regular basis as mandated by State of Illinois. The inspection reports ensure the bridge is in a safe condition to carry vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  During the construction the bridge will continue to be inspected to accommodate both vehicular and pedestrian traffic safely, especially for the one-lane temporary configuration. As noted in the FAQ, a temporary traffic signal will control traffic across the one-lane Clavey Rd bridge during construction. The signal will be actuated which means it will detect when a vehicle needs to cross the bridge and will provide the green light to safely cross the bridge.  The opposing traffic will be held to a red light to ensure conflicting movements do not occur simultaneously. The bridge is designed to hold traffic during back up on the bridge. In addition, the temporary signal light on the one-lane bridge will be equipped with an Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) system to ensure emergency responders are given priority. 

8.             What is the cost of Clavey Road Reconstruction Project?
Based on current design plans, the cost estimate for this project is $10,000,000 with the grant paying 80% and City costs $2,000,000.

9.              Why is the City working with IDOT on this project?
The City accepted federal construction grant funds for the project, and, as such, is required to adhere to strict IDOT guidelines. Infrastructure investment is a core priority for the City. On average, the City spends $12-$14 million annually on all infrastructure projects to maintain and upgrade aged City infrastructure. Any grant funds received will alleviate the tax burden on property owners and allow the City to take on additional infrastructure investment.

10.              Can the City pay for the project to get it started earlier?
The City received $8,000,000 in federal grant funds for this project. Use of the federal funds requires the City to adhere to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and IDOT requirements. One of those requirements calls for the City to wait to receive IDOT approval before starting final engineering work.  The City may start the engineering prior to receipt of IDOT’s approval; however, all work done prior to IDOT’s approval must be funded 100% with City funds. The final engineering for this project is approximately $1,000,000. The grant provides approximately $800,000 for the final engineering. By starting before receiving IDOT approval the City may lose $800,000 in grant funding.

11.              Why is the City considering a two-lane roadway during construction instead of a one-lane roadway with detours?
Clavey Road is a major east-west route in the City, used by many motorists and pedestrians. While the one-way traffic option could reduce construction time and project costs, it eliminates the westbound traffic on a significant portion of Clavey Road for a long duration and would cause a major inconvenience to the motoring public.

 At the public meeting on July 30, 2019, residents and entities residing in the area and using Clavey Road on a daily basis expressed concerns with the one-way traffic and the long detour routes. Also, a one-direction traffic flow pattern is not as safe as a two-way traffic flow. Public safety responders have expressed concerns on traffic backups with one-way traffic. The one-way traffic plan would also impact visitors heading to Ravinia Festival grounds causing major backups on the detoured routes.

Maintaining a two-way traffic flow is estimated to cost an additional $1,600,000. This figure is a preliminary estimate based on a limited study conducted by the City’s design consultant. The cost will be reviewed after IDOT provides the City with approval to initiate final engineering. The additional cost will be grant funded, and, as such, the City’s share will be limited to 20% of costs or $320,000 if approved by IDOT.

12.              Are there detour routes planned during construction?
With the proposed plan to maintain two-way traffic during construction on Clavey Road from US Route 41 to Green Bay Road for the duration of construction, detour routes are not anticipated. A detour is possible due to unforeseen site conditions or utility conflicts, but the duration of the detour route will be short. Please note that Clavey Road Bridge will be one-lane with a temporary traffic signal to regulate the flow of traffic. The bridge will be replaced at the completion of the project.

13.              How many trees will be removed during the project?
The decision to remove trees is not something the City takes lightly. The City has been a Tree City USA for 39 years which is a testament to our high standards for tree preservation, investment, maintenance and care. The Clavey Road Project will entail the removal of 148 trees of various sizes or species (79 trees for the reconstruction of the road and 69 for the additional lane during construction).  No Heritage, Grove or Oak trees are planned to be removed. The removal of the trees is balanced with the consideration to provide two lanes of traffic for public safety purposes and to manage the traffic flow along this major corridor in our community.

 City Forester Dr. Keith O’Herrin evaluated all trees considered for removal and found nearly all to be small and young/juvenile trees. The large old oak trees in front of Kennedy Park will be preserved. Upon completion of construction, the City will beautify the corridor by replacing the former trees with new large shade tree species, ornamental trees such as crabapple and Japanese tree lilac, and native shrubs and prairie wildflowers.

14.              What is the landscape plan along Clavey Road?
As part of this project, the City will develop a landscape plan to beautify the corridor. High-quality trees along with the shrubbery will be part of an enhanced landscape plan that will be developed in consultation with the City Forester. The City plans to work with IDOT on the landscape plan, and if approved, will seek grant funds to pay for major portions of the plan. Additional details on the landscape plan will be available at the completion of Phase II Engineering in late 2020.    

 15.          Why is an 8' multi-use path being proposed?
The existing sidewalk located along the south side of Clavey Road is a 5' sidewalk.  As part of the Clavey Road Improvements Project, an 8' multi-use path is proposed. The design criteria and requirements are different for a sidewalk compared to a multi-use path.  The sidewalk is intended to carry only pedestrian traffic.  The multi-use path is intended to carry pedestrian traffic as well as bicycle traffic.  The existing pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Clavey Road initiated the requirement of a separate multi-use path. In addition, this multi-use path also provides the needed connection to the east and west as outlined in the City’s approved BikeWalk HP2030 Plan.

16.           Why is the 8’ asphalt multi-use path on the south side of Clavey instead of the north side?
As part of the planning process, the City explored installing the proposed 8-ft multi-use path on both the north and south side of Clavey. The elevation difference between the roadway and parkway area to the north is significant enough that any multi-use path installation requires a retaining wall, and the retaining wall would not allow for the path to be ADA accessible. In addition, if the path was on the north side, the Clavey Road bridge would need to be shifted southwards thereby creating an alignment concern for the entire Clavey Road corridor area. The parkway area would also be reduced between the bridge and the multi-use path.  Lastly, placing the walk on the north side entails extending the right-of-way onto private property and removal of private trees. Currently, there is a 5’ sidewalk on the south side and expanding this to an 8’ multi-use path will provide the connectivity to Skokie Valley Trail on the west side and the Green Bay Trail on the east side.

17.  Why  can't Clavey Road be widened by 8 feet and have the sidewalk be kept as is ? 
The construction of a separate 8-ft multi-use path is in line with City-approved BikeWalk HP2030 Plan whereby a safe pathway is provided for recreational bicyclist or pedestrians. Currently, there is a 5’ sidewalk on the south side. With an 8-ft separate bike path, separate from the roadway, a connection is provided to two major bike trails on either side of project limits, Skokie Valley Bike Trail on the west side and the Robert McClory Bike Path (Green Bay Trail) on the east side and connection to Green Bay Road, a major arterial street to access Ravinia Festival.

Clavey Road is a major east-west roadway with a posted speed limit of 35 mph and few driveways or streets intersecting the street. For such long stretches of roadway, with no driveways to the north, a separate pathway for multi-users such as bicyclists and pedestrians increases safety. In addition,  a bridge exists on this stretch of roadway whereby pedestrians/bicyclists and motorists are to be separated. Providing a separate multi-use path, similar to other bike-pedestrian paths in the City, ensures the safety of all traffic. Recently, the City completed a multi-use path on the north side of Walker Avenue from Highwood City limits to the west to Oak Street to the east. See questions 11 and 12 for additional information.

 18.            How long will construction last?
The City anticipates construction to take at least 9-15 months with a winter shut down period. The project may be delayed due to unpredictable variables such as weather or any unforeseen site conditions.  The City will ensure that every effort is made to keep construction moving forward in an expeditious manner while still providing a quality product to last for years to come.

 The construction timeline takes into account various stages of construction including constructing a two-lane roadway during construction, a one-lane temporary signal at Clavey Road Bridge, impact to the parkway areas, relocation of utility poles, and other pertinent factors.

 19.           How many public meetings have been held and will others be planned?
The City hosted two public meetings thus far on December 5, 2017 and July 30, 2019 for the Clavey Road Reconstruction Project.

 December 5, 2017 
The City presented the scope and limits of the project. The initial traffic management plan called for one-way traffic on Clavey Road in the eastbound direction with westbound traffic being detoured using Green Bay Road, Lake Cook Road and US Route 41.  The initial traffic plan was not well-received by the public in attendance.

 July 30, 2019
The City presented an updated scope and limits of the project, pedestrian crosswalk safety enhancements, a new traffic management plan, and a tentative project schedule and design. The new two-way traffic plan requires removal of an additional 69 trees, additional construction stages which add approximately six months to the construction timeline, and additional costs associated with maintaining two-way traffic.

 More detailed meeting summaries are available at (Clavey Road Tab).

 The City will provide additional details to impacted residents and businesses on the project timeline and start of construction once a construction timeline has been received. Regular updates are posted on City website, newsletter, on the City’s social media, and on electronic message boards placed on Clavey Road. The City also sends out email updates to residents who have asked for regular updates on the project. To sign up for regular updates on the Clavey Road project, please reach out to Manny Gomez, P.E. at or 847.432.0807.

20.           Will the pedestrian crossings be modified across Clavey?
Yes. The City presented potential pedestrian safety enhancements at the pedestrian crossings such as advance warning signs, high visibility crosswalks, and unobstructed visibility. The proposed enhancements are in compliance with FHWA and IDOT requirements. 

 21.           Will residents and businesses have access to their driveways throughout the project?
The City works with residents and businesses to minimize impacts to driveways during construction. However, there may be times when access is affected. In those cases, the City will coordinate with all affected properties to ensure that access issues are worked out in advance.

22.           What are the construction hours for the project?
Per City Ordinance, construction hours are from 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday –Friday and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday.  No work is allowed on Sundays or major holidays including Jewish holidays. Permission to work outside these restricted hours is evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the request is warranted.

23.           Where can I get more information or send feedback on this specific project?
The City sends out email updates to residents who have asked for regular updates on the project. For updates or information pertaining to the Clavey Rd Improvements Project, please visit the City website, (Clavey Road tab). If you would like to be added to the email list or have any questions or feedback, please contact Emmanuel Gomez, P.E., City Engineer at or at 847.432.0807.