Updated, 12:08 p.m. 9/30/11: The protective liability insurance permit necessary for construction on Hillgrove Avenue was issued earlier this week, BNSF spokesperson Amy McBeth has told Patch in an e-mail.
According to her timeline, the paperwork was submitted on Friday, Sep. 16, and BNSF responded with a "list of deficiencies" on Tuesday, Sep. 20. The issues were resolved and the permit was issued this Tuesday, Sep. 27.
On Wednesday, Sep. 28, acting Municipal Services Director told Patch that "even if the insurance was approved by BNSF today," it would be too late.
"Again, there was no delay on BNSF's part concerning this project," wrote McBeth in an e-mail. "In fact, earlier this week, the permit had been approved and that had been communicated to the contractor."
Supert told Patch on Wednesday that the original paperwork had been submitted "at the end of August." Patch is awaiting response from Village staff regarding discrepancies in the timeline of events that has forced delay of the project.
Original, 7:44 p.m. 9/29/11: While the resurfacing of Hillgrove Avenue just a little over a week ago, the Village now has confirmed that the project has been put off until 2012.
The delay is due to the incompletion of protective liability insurance for the Village’s contractor. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway requires said insurance for any construction that takes place within 50 feet of its tracks.
“Our contractor submitted the request for the insurance at the end of August after our pre-construction meeting,” wrote acting Municipal Services Director Matt Supert in an e-mail. “We have been pushing to get the insurance approved, but the approval is actually handled by the BNSF’s legal firm.”
Even after approval of insurance, the plan would have to be submitted through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), which Supert said could take an additional extra two weeks—pushing start time into mid-October.
Since the planned project required five weeks of work, that would push completion into late November—past the closing time of most asphalt plants and likely past the 50-degree Fahrenheit minimum temperature necessary to pave.
“We did not want to get into a situation where the street was ground down and then left over the winter,” Supert wrote.
Although the Village had been pushing for approval in time to complete the project, Amy McBeth, a spokesperson for BNSF, wrote that “there has been no delay in BNSF's review."
“There is a review process that needs to take place for the project to proceed safely and that is what is occurring,” McBeth added.
Certain portions of the repaving will still be completed this fall. These include commuter parking on the south side of Hillgrove from Grand to Central, and the alley behind the .
Supert did not address—and it is currently unclear—if or how this will affect the project’s originally proposed 80-percent state funding, which was previously cited as a reason for attempting to finish the project this year.
In the meantime, the Thursday French Market has moved back to its original location west of Wolf Road, where it will remain until October. The Market’s relocation to the 700 block of Hillgrove Avenue .