Central Business District Streetscape and Utility Project Frequently Asked Questions

The Village of Glen Ellyn is embarking on a once-in-a-generation streetscape and utility project to repair aging infrastructure and upgrade the appearance of Downtown Glen Ellyn. The necessary utility construction project provides an opportunity to upgrade the streetscape at the same time.

Project Contact: Meredith Hannah
Economic Development Coordinator
Village of Glen Ellyn
mhannah@glenellyn.org | 630-547-5345

Why is the Village undertaking a large construction project now?

The Village of Glen Ellyn needs to make repairs to its aging infrastructure. The 100+ year old system has exceeded its useful life. There are significant issues with the underground water, sanitary and storm sewer as identified by an independent third-party evaluation. The evaluation identified:

  • Over 500 defects in storm and sanitary service lines were identified during televising of sewers, ranging from cracks in pipe, holes, deformations, offset joints, have been identified during sewer televising and review
  • Over 80 sanitary service lines require replacement and close to 70 requires lining to extend its service life.
  • Over 5300 feet of storm and sanitary sewer identified for rehabilitation through sewer lining
  • Sanitary sewer on Main St (Hillside to Duane) is undersized and requires replacement
  • At least 27 points were identified where storm water potentially enters the sanitary sewer system, adding to the amount of sewerage water that needs to be treated by GWA plant
  • Over 1000 feet of storm sewer needs to be replaced due to pipe condition
  • Cast iron watermain in Main Street dates back to 1907 and has exceeded its useful lifespan
  • Sections of cast iron watermain on Pennsylvania dates back to 1910’s and exceeded its useful lifespan
  • Over 230 water services and b-boxes identified to be replaced as part of the watermain replacements and upgrades water service pipe size and materials.

The Village is acting now to address the aging infrastructure downtown. The longer the repairs are delayed, the more likely costly accidents are to happen. The Village is taking advantage of recent competitive construction pricing to complete the project in a timely and cost-effective manner. Many bids are coming in 3%-5% below estimates right now. In addition, reduced foot and vehicular traffic will allow the Village to complete the project in a timely manner. Phase I construction is aligned with the Apex 400 construction on Main Street so that all construction activity will be completed by the end of 2021, rather than continued for two years. Once complete, this investment in the downtown will encourage new investment in Glen Ellyn.

The project is projected to cost $27.8 million. Nineteen percent (19%) of the total cost is for streetscape upgrades.

The Village will complete the project in phases. The Village will time the start of construction with the completion of the Civic Center parking garage to ensure off street parking options for downtown businesses. The first phase is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2021.

The ongoing construction at the Apex 400 development will cause lane closures on Main and Hillside during late spring 2021. The Apex 400 development will complete surrounding sidewalks and streetscape elements in fall of 2021 which aligns with the streetscape construction schedule. Therefore, rather than delay the streetscape to 2022, the Apex project and phase I of the streetscape project can be completed by the end of 2021.

Construction does disrupt normal business operations. During the first phase, when underground utility work is being done, the street will be closed for periods of time to vehicular traffic.  Temporary sidewalks will be in use during the project to maintain pedestrian access to each business.

Phase I: 2021 Vehicular Road Closures

The Village will work closely with the Downtown Alliance, Chamber and individual businesses to listen and address businesses’ concerns. The Village and the construction company will install clear signage to direct traffic, hold regular construction meetings and support an open for business campaign. The Resident Engineer, who will be on site during construction, will be a direct line of communication with the business owners regarding the day-to-day construction operations. The Resident Engineer will provide advance notice and coordination for upcoming construction operations that will occur in front of each business. On street parking and loading zones will be provided and signed where and when possible.

The Village is asking for feedback from business owners, residents and visitors. There are several sidewalk, parkway and tree planter curb material options at the northwest intersection of Main and Crescent. Residents/businesses were able to vote on their preferred materials until January 12, 2021. We are currently analyzing the hundreds of responses.

Most of the 195 light poles downtown were installed in 1985 and 1986. A 2019 survey of all the lights revealed that many of the poles are rotting away and the anchors are disintegrating. These issues coupled with the fact that many replacement parts are no longer being made means the electrical wiring needs to be redone.

The majority of the sidewalks were installed in the 1980s and are in need of repair. The sidewalk curb ramps are generally non-compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. Each time sidewalk repairs are required it affects pedestrian traffic and impacts adjacent business.

Also, the majority of streets in the CBD scored fair or poor in a recent Village-wide pavement conditions assessment.