Photo by Joe Boyle
A construction crew is at work on Friday afternoon as they begin to build a new Thorntons service station at the corner of 111th and Roberts Road in Palos Hills. The Cook County Highway Department will soon begin resurfacing Roberts Road after completing work in Hickory Hills.
By Joe Boyle
Construction activity is taking place at the corner of 111th and Roberts Road, and no one is more pleased than Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett.
The vacant lots that had been at the northwest corner of 111th Street has made way for R. Carlson & Sons Construction Management, based in Mokena, who are currently working on building the Thorntons service station.
"It's three vacant lots that it will fill up and it is expected to be completed by December," Bennett said about the long-awaited Thorntons. "Right now, we are just at the beginning."
The Palos Hills mayor is awaiting the resurfacing of roads along Roberts Road by the Cook County Highway Department. Plans to resurface Roberts Road in the city is expected to begin this month, Bennett said.
"We have learned that they are going to start out in Hickory Hills and work their way down Roberts Road to us," said Bennett, who said the County sometimes takes a while on certain projects.
While there may be a delay, repaving Roberts Road will take place soon in Palos Hills. But much more is in store at the corner of 111th and Roberts Road, including a new right turning lane for westbound traffic onto 111th Street. This will help alleviate traffic congestion, Bennett said.
The mayor is also excited about the installation of new pedestrian crosswalks and plans to construct new decorative gateway brick walls on all four corners at 111th and Roberts Road.
"This will be similar to the design that is at 143rd and LaGrange Road in Orland Park," Bennett said in reference to the brick planter walls. "It was expected to start in the spring but with everything else going on it will be delayed until next fall. It's going to look really nice when it is done."
The mayor expects the whole Phase II engineering portion of the project to be completed sometime in 2022.
But first, Bennett said the County will begin the resurfacing of Roberts Road from the northern boundary of 99th Street to about 500 feet before the intersection at 111th Street. Federal, state and Cook County funds are being made available for the repaving project.
Bennett said that it has taken time and patience to get the Phase II project off the ground.
"We have been pushing the County for at least eight years on this," Bennett said. "Like I said, it will be great when it is done."
Bennett also said he is looking forward to the new Southwest Central Dispatch building
With the project at 111th and Roberts Road, along with the new-state-of-the-art Public Works building that has been completed at Gerald R. Bennett Park, there are other projects that Palos Hills is involved in.
The mayor is proud of the fact that construction plans are taking place for the new Southwest Central Dispatch Building despite being in the midst of a pandemic.
The new dispatch building will be moving from Palos Heights to the Palos Hills location. Construction on the $8 million project began last month, Bennett said. A $2 million grant provided by the state with the assistance of state Rep. Kelly Burke (D-36th) and state Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-18th) will "help significantly with the cost of the building," Bennett added.
The communities that the current and new dispatch center will serve besides Palos Hills include Chicago Ridge, Crestwood, Lemont, the North Palos Fire Protection District, Palos Heights Fire Protection District, and Worth.
"As far as the contractors go, we are moving right along," Bennett said. "That has not been affected."
The new dispatch center will be located at 8911 W. 95th St., which is adjacent to the North Palos Fire Protection District Station 2, in Palos Hills. It will be located just across from the old Sabre Room site in Hickory Hills.
"We originally built it small because we knew eventually we would have to expand in the future," Bennett said about the current center that is 36 years old. "So we are really excited about this project."
The mayor also mentioned that a new Dunkin' Donuts will be built at 95th Street and 88th Avenue, which was the site of a new closed restaurant.
"This has been a building season in Palos Hills," Bennett said despite COVID-19. "We will continue to build."