… that, at long last, the salt dome will be replaced. RT readers will recall that this has been a years-long saga, as some folks thought the dome should be relocated, and others were able to find enough fault with each alternative so that the dome site will remain where it is – at the City’s Service Center, 2020 Asbury. Readers of this column will also recall that TG advocated for an artistic touch to whatever new dome would be built – e.g., in the shape of a Monet haystack. TG now also fancies making it look like a mushroom with a painting of the Alice in Wonderland caterpillar. Or maybe an igloo. And maybe the words “Got snow?” or “Got salt?” on it.
At any rate, the construction contract for $335,680 will go to Dome Corporation of North America of Saginaw, Mich. According to the City, the new dome will be 82 feet in diameter and have a storage capacity of “up to 3,800 tons.” That should be sufficient, according to the City, because, “over the last two years the City has incorporated more anti-icing and de-icing into its snow-removal operations. This change in operation, coupled with expanded liquid-dispensing capabilities in the City’s fleet, reduces the City’s salt storage capacity requirements.” The company will demolish the old salt dome and eight concrete material storage bins. Once the new dome is completed, some new bins – the number as yet unascertained – will be built.

… that a three-year contract for material-testing on various City projects has been offered to GSG Material Testing Inc. of Chicago. The City says the programs that would require the testing services “include but are not limited to street resurfacing, alley paving, sidewalk program, signal projects, the ADA Ramp & Block Curb Program, water main installation projects, park renovations, facility renovations and construction and streetscape projects. The material testing/inspection services contract will include but is not limited to field quality control services, Portland cement concrete testing, bituminous concrete testing, earthwork and foundation system testing and inspection, masonry testing and structural steel field inspection. The projects involved for this year are street resurfacing, alley paving, signal projects, curb and sidewalk projects, CCDD (clean construction or demolition debris) material disposal and testing and City building projects.

… that the City will lease seven hogs from Chicago Harley Davidson Inc. in Glenview.

… that readers may remember that ComEd plans to bury some more of its cables. Work has begun on the underground conduit along Payne between Dewey and Ashland  and in the adjacent alley. Crews will work 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and plan to have the work completed by June 6. Residents should watch for sidewalk and lane closures, no-parking signs, etc.
… that these ducks have found a quiet pond in Perkins Woods in northwest Evanston.

… that, for a year, Autobarn of Evanston will sponsor nine electric vehicle (EV) charging stations around the Chicagoland area:  five in Evanston, three in Chicago and one in Oak Park. The sponsorship, according to the City, is “in conjunction with the Center for Neighborhood Technology.” CNT, readers may know, is a small but mighty think tank in Bucktown (recipient of a MacArthur genius grant), staffed by some of the smartest folks around (some of them Evanstonians). The free-of-charge (one might say) EV stations are those at the Main Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington, 825 Hinman (two stations)  and 2122 Central (two stations).  The City, the State and the planet (TG guesses) encourage folks to use electric vehicles.

… that elm-tree inoculations will begin early next month. The City will purchase 81 gallons of Arbotect fungicide from Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements of Minnetonka, Minn., at $385 per gallon, for a total purchase amount of $31,185. This will allow the City to inject about 168 public elm trees in City parks where elms were injected three years ago. The vendor, Rainbow, has, the City says, “the sole license from the European manufacturer, Syngenta, to distribute this product in the United States.”

… that the City will sell a used 1999 Ford E-450 through public auction at the special Northwest Municipal Vehicle Auction being sponsored by Manheim Auto Auctions “on or around” May 27.

… that, as reported previously, parking hours along parts of east Howard  and part of Custer will be extended to nearly the same hours as those for the Chicago side of Howard there: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., with the option of paying for four hours’ of meter space after 5. The rate will be the same – $.75/hour.

…  that, through July 30, Nicor Gas and its subcontractors, United Meters Inc. (UMI) and NPL Construction will be replacing 12,000 feet of old low-pressure gas mains and 250 service lines in several areas between Chicago and Lake Shore, north of Lee and south of Greenwood. They will install new meters and regulators outside of residences and remove old meters located inside. Residents should watch for parking restrictions and flaggers. The City advises: “Temporary and permanent landscaping and pavement restorations will occur throughout the course of the project.” The project supervisor is Dan Kellogg, dkellog@aglresources.com, 630-816-5645.

… that the annual Bike the Drive is Sunday, and Lake Shore Drive will be open only to bicyclists between 5:30 and 10:15 a.m. on May 25. Cars will be able to access the Museum Campus via 18th Street and Navy Pier via Illinois Street. Details can be found at www.bikethedrive.org.

… that Governor Pat Quinn has announced investments of $5.2 million for construction projects in Cook County, funded by  his Illinois Jobs Now! construction program. Evanston’s share, about a quarter of a million dollars ($274,815) will be spent on curbs and gutters, sidewalks and drainage. Work will be performed by A. Lamp Concrete Contractors, Inc., of Schaumburg. The affected street segments were identified in the last RT issue. Residents etc. should watch for parking changes and should identify/flag sprinkler systems. The City says, “Street sweeping and neighborhood parking restrictions will be waived for a one-block radius around the construction zone when temporary daytime parking restrictions are in effect.” Questions about this project may be sent to City of Evanston Resident Engineer Angeleo Alonzo, 847-980-3402. Questions about street resurfacing projects in general may be sent to Senior Project Manager Sat Nagar, P.E., at 311 (847-448-4311 outside of Evanston).

… that “Click It or Ticket” has returned for the Memorial Day weekend. This is a joint effort by the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and “hundreds of local law enforcement agencies across the state to save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws. The Evanston Police Department is, of course, among those hundreds.  Remember, everyone must wear a seat belt if the car is moving. According to the police, “During statewide observational surveys conducted by IDOT in 2013, the overall usage rate for rear seat occupants was 77.4 percent versus 93.7 percent for drivers and front seat passengers. In 2012, back seat passengers in Illinois accounted for 46 fatalities and over 5,000 injuries.  Out of those 46 fatalities, 30 of them were not wearing their seat belts.”
… that those who oppose wearing a seat belt can take a bike. Good news from the Census Bureau: Chicago had 1.3 percent of commuters bike to work; nationally, 0.6 percent of workers commute by bike. The Bureau also said, “‘Modes Less Traveled – Biking and Walking to Work in the United States: 200-2012,’  the report containing the bike-commute figures, highlights the trends and socio-economic and geographic differences between motorized and non-motorized commutes.”  And here is a factoid from the Census Bureau: “Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation’s people. Questions about jobs and the economy were added 20 years later under James Madison, who said such information would allow Congress to ‘adapt the public measures to the particular circumstances of the community,’ and over the decades allow America ‘an opportunity of marking the progress of the society.’”

From our readers: TG: What is the fine for someone who is riding a bicycle without a helmet and using both hands to text? – Worried resident.

From TG: TG does not know what the fine would be (probably just for no helmet), but the damage could be serious.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that parents whose kids want to learn to fish should take their kids for the free catch-and-release instruction in the pond at to Lovelace Park some Saturday.
… that it would be nice if the coming summer were as long as this past winter.

… that everyone who is graduating from anything or any place deserves congratulations. Kudos to you all. Folks who live or drive in the east Central Street area may be interested to know of upcoming graduation ceremonies at Welsh-Ryan arena:
May 24, 9:30 a.m., Warren High School graduation
May 28, 9:30 a.m., Niles West High School practice
May 28, 7 p.m., Niles West High School graduation
May 29, 9:30 a.m., Niles North High School practice
May 29, 7 p.m., Niles North High School graduation
May 30, 9 a.m., New Trier High School practice
May 30, 1 p.m., Evanston Township High School practice
June 1, 1 p.m., Evanston Township High School graduation
June 1, 5 p.m., New Trier High School graduation
June 20, 9:30 a.m., Northwestern University’s 156th commencement
June 20, 5 p.m., Kellogg School of Management commencement
June 21, 8:30 a.m. NU’s McCormick School of Engineering commencement
June 21, 11:30 a.m., NU’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences commencement