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North Avenue Closing Timeline Tightened Up Again

With some tweaking by contractors, closure is expected to last less than the optimum four weeks predicted only last week.

The city and contractor's scheduled date for closing West North Avenue at North 90th Street is now Oct. 22, according to City Engineer Bill Wehrley.

But while knowing when you won't be able to get through the avenue is good, the much better news is that you will be able to get through again sooner than had been thought.

Wehrley said the avenue should be reopened to through traffic during the week of Nov. 12 – earlier than the minimum closure predicted as recently as last week.

All earlier indications were that the street would be closed from four to possibly six weeks, encroaching on the holiday shopping season.

Retailers in the district have said they could live with a closing into early November but would likely face losses with a closing through Thanksgiving.

Ald. Jeff Roznowski of the 6th District said that some creative solutions from Globe Contractors have allowed for a shorter closing time and the projected early reopening.

"This came out in a meeting with them this (Thursday) morning," Roznowski said. "Bill Wehrley had asked them if they could better pinpoint the timing of the closing.

"There is an alley west of 90th Street and north of North Avenue that, if it could be used, would provide additional access into the area for equipment.

"We've talked about that alley before, but it's not built to handle really heavy euipment. But just by using it on a limited basis, it seems they can advance their schedule. Globe understands the urgency of this."

Wehrley noted in a memo that the schedules given are still dependant on the weather dependant and could also still change as the work progresses day to day.

But Roznowski said he was fairly confident that the plan current now would work out for commuters, shoppers and retailers.

"We've had good weather so far, and the pace of the project has allowed this to begin on Oct. 22 and potentially be done in less than four weeks," he said. "And that's complete, start to finish, repaved, done.

"I'll repeat my promise to those business people, though, that if anything should happen where it did stretch out toward Thanksgiving, we will keep our word to them and the street will be reopened before then."

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