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Construction Frustrations Get The Festive Touch In Irving Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Some homeowners in Irving Park are taking their frustrations and adding a festive flare to it.

Last Monday, CBS 2 reported how they are fed up with construction that's been around for seven months.

But all the garland and glitter isn't to lift their mood, as CBS 2's Marissa Parra reports it's to finally get something done.

After months of construction, neighbors in Irving Park are seeing red, green and white.

"I noticed the Santa hat! It's pretty cute here, decorating this unsightly thing," said Sarah Thompson.

That thing she's referring to is a safety drum.

Thompson been dog walking in the area for months. She said the construction on Spaulding Avenue near Cuyler Avenue has been in place longer than she has.

"This seems to be a giant hole that was dug probably about six months ago and they covered it up. And they haven't been back to do any work since then," Thompson said.

According to CDOT's website, the permit for the construction for a water main project is listed online as starting in March of this year.

That same permit supposedly ends in just a few weeks. But neighbors said they haven't seen any real change with the construction equipment laying around.

"Now it's been decorated. It's very lively for the holidays," Thompson said.

The guy behind the exterior decorating project was stuck at work. But he said over the phone he was trying to make the best of a bad situation since it seemed the equipment was here to stay.

Construction is causing an eyesore up and down the block. CBS 2 took a ride down the same streets one week ago, because of issues with pot holes.

The problem is the streets can't be repaved until projects, like water main construction, are finished first.

CBS 2 followed up with the office of the 33rd Ward Alderman, Rossana Rodriguez, who said she is aware of the situation and is "... working to accelerate the construction" with the agencies involved.

Thompson said at least they all have something nice to look at while they wait.

"It would be great if the city of Chicago got on it and finished the work that they started."

CBS 2 reached out to the water department Monday to ask about the timeline, and if or why there is a delay.

The agency said it would send an investigator Monday night to take a look and get some answers. In a statement it added that the project is mostly finished and could be completed in a matter of weeks.

"The Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) is committed to ensuring all water related construction is completed properly and efficiently. In this particular instance, 75% of the project has been completed, and the remaining blocks had been put on hold previously due to underground utility and other conflicts. DWM is currently finalizing the conflicts with approximately 4 weeks of work remaining, weather permitting. Full restoration will be completed in spring once the asphalt plants reopen."

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