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Chicago-Area Cities Seeing Benefits of Brick Streets

Purington pavers (circa 1920) on a Chicago street.

The Chicago Tribune reports brick streets are resurfacing in this Midwest hub. Forest Park, for instance, which has about a dozen blocks of brick streets, is in the midst of a $10 million infrastructure refurbishment and has already reconstructed two brick streets in the last year and will complete three more blocks of brick streets by December.

Oak Park only has one block of brick street, but it had to be excavated five years ago. The question was to restore the brick or go with asphalt. The residents wanted their brick back and got it. This led Oak Park Village President David Pope to consider adding more brick streets. Their initial cost estimates indicate the higher price of brick can be more than offset by lower maintenance costs and longer life than asphalt. He asserts the rougher brick surface slows traffic and that there is less traffic on brick streets because drivers prefer driving smooth asphalt surfaces.

Other Chicago-area cities with brick streets include Downers Grove and Wilmette.

Costs for brick street restoration can range from $13 to $17 per square foot. Asphalt repaving costs are in the $5 to $10 per square foot range.

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December 9, 2019, 10:24 am PDT

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