Central Street Bridge Reconstruction Update

Members and neighbors who have been expecting the construction of the Central Street Bridge by the City to have begun will be disappointed to know (or maybe happy to know) that the bridge demolition work that was scheduled to begin this fall will not begin in earnest until Spring 2021.


The contract between IDOT and the Contractor has not been signed.  Rather, it is in the final stages of negotiations, whereby the Contractor must produce documentation including proof of insurance and identification/approval for the chosen disadvantaged businesses (DBEs) that the Contractor will use for parts of the work.  This process has taken longer than expected.


Traffic staging and demolition of half of the bridge will begin in Spring 2021.


Other supporting work that will not impact traffic this Fall may take place, however, but is dependent upon the yet-unknown detailed Contract schedule.  This supporting work might include the Contractor’s temporary yards for storage of equipment and materials (work off of the right-of-way), tree removal , and possibly the installation of the temporary traffic signal at the Bryant/Central intersection.  The temporary signals will not be operational until the Spring, when traffic begins to be re-routed to one side of the bridge to facilitate the demolition.


Behind the scenes, the Contractor will also use the Fall and Winter to order the steel girders for the proposed bridge (about a 10-week lead time) and to solidify and line-up the subcontractors.


As a result of this delayed start, traffic will remain as-is on Central Street this Winter.  Emergency vehicle access will not be affected, service to the hospital will be maintained, pedestrians will continue to be able to cross Central, and Canal Shores Golf Course will be open for business as usual.


The delayed start is not expected to impact the ultimate completion of the project in late Summer 2022. 


Note that some of the above information is subject to the Contractor’s detailed schedule.  As we know more, CSNA will keep you informed.

Library Board 8/19 Meeting Update

The Library Board has posted the packet for the meeting tomorrow Wednesday August 19 at 6:30 PM.  The packet includes the agenda for the meeting.

A separate link provides instruction on how to join the Zoom meeting to participate remotely via either computer or smart phone. Instructions are also available for listening in via telephone.  This link also contains instructions for participating in public comment.  You must register before the meeting to provide public comment.  The Zoom and/or telephone connection alone does not allow for publlic comment. You can register right up to the meeting start at 6:30 PM.

Here is the link:to the EPL Board Agendas & Meetings page: https://www.epl.org/essentials/board-of-trustees/agendas-minutes/

Here is the link to the Agenda/Packet for thiis meeting:  https://www.epl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/library-packet-20200819.pdf

Here is the link to the Zoom meeting and the public comment sign-up: https://www.epl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Remote-Access-to-Library-...

Will North Branch Close?

The Evanston Public Library (EPL) Board of Trustees will vote Wednesday, August 19 on whether to permanently close both North and South Branch (CAMS) Libraries.  Based on previous discussion it appears that a majority favor permanent closure of both branches. Reasons for closing discussed by the board include equity, staffing, and social distancing.

CSNA has written a letter to the EPL Trustees stating our position opposing the closing of the North Branch. The letter can be found herehttp://centralstreetneighbors.com/node/1510

Our sister organization, the Southeast Evanston Association (SEA), has also written a letter opposing the closing of the South Branch (CAMS).  That can be found here: http://centralstreetneighbors.com/node/1511

Central Street Evanston (formerly Central Street Business Association) has also written the EPL Trustees to advocate for the North Branch.  That letter is here: http://centralstreetneighbors.com/node/1513

The Trustee meeting will be held virtually at 6:30 PM via video or telephone conference. All interested parties in Evanston are invited to participate and to speak during the Public Comment period at the beginning of the meeting.  Those planning to speak must register ahead of time.

The information packet and agenda for the meeting will be posted here:

Instructions for joining the meeting via video or phone are here:
(This page also includes the link to sign-up to provide Public Comment.)

Residents may also contact the EPL Trustees. Contact information information is here: https://www.epl.org/essentials/board-of-trustees/
(Please note that the Trustees whose terms are listed as "expires: 6/30/2020" are still on the Board and apparently will be voting on this issue.)

The members of the EPL Board of Trustees are nominated by the Mayor and appointed by the City Council.  Contact information for these officials is here:

6th Ward Alderman Thomas Suffredin: tsuffredin@cityofevanston.org

7th Ward Alderwoman Eleanor Revelle: erevelle@cityofevanston.org 

Mayor Steven H. Hagerty: shagerty@cityofevanston.org

Links to recent press on this issue are listed here below:

Evanston RoundTable 7/17/2020: "Will Evanston's Branch Libraries Stay Closed Forever?"

Evanston RoundTable 7/17/2020: "The Public Square  - Close CAMS and North Branch: Reader"

Evanston RoundTable: 9/17/2019: "Library Board Mulls Weighty Scenarios Such as Closing CAMS and Shifting Resourceshttps://evanstonroundtable.com/MobileContent/City-News/City-News/Article...

This issue is also trending on the local Nextdoor Neighbor network as a General topic originating from the Kingsley neighborhood.

The Evanston Public Library Friends (EPLF) page on Facebook is also discussing this issue: https://www.facebook.com/joineplf/

CSNA will continue following this issue and posting additional background information.

FYI: You can reach us at:
... or at:

Evanston Patch article misleads on EPD comparison data

Hi everyone,

I read this Evanston Patch article last night … and checked some of the references used… then found the numbers did not add up.

The article is ... Patch 7/14/2020: Amid Calls To 'Defund Police,' Evanston Mayor, Chief Talk Budget

From the article sub-headline: “Evanston's ratio of police to residents has been among the highest in Illinois.”

There is a lot of outside data in the article and that data generally supports the sub-headline despite the errors.

The article quotes two outside data sources to make comparisons with EPD ... this is where things go off track. 

I quote the article below and then the correction I think needs to be made.

  1. “Evanston's ratio of police personnel to population – about 269 department employees to 100,000 residents — compares to that of San Francisco, Miami or Little Rock, Arkansas, according to an analysis by the Vera Institute of Justice cited by Papachristos."

269 per 100,000 residents is about right for Evanston.  But the data for the other cities is actually the number of residents per police department employee … and not employees per hundred thousand residents.  So, this is not a valid comparison. Evanston actually has 364 residents per police department employee.  A much higher ratio than these three cities which run from 260-275.


  1. “Chicago's police to resident ratio is 40 percent lower — just 183 employees per 100,000 Chicagoans."

Chicago actually has about 506 employees per 100,000 residents.  Evanston has about 270. So, Chicago is actually about 100% higher and not 40% lower.

  1. “Apart from Chicago, Evanston had the fourth highest ratio of police to residents in the state, trailing only Addison, Elk Grove Village and Carbondale.”

The data for this comparison was from 2016 when Evanston PD  had 227 employees.  In 2020 that number is now 202 with unfilled open positions.  That would put Evanston at about 7th highest (below Chicago) on the list of 52 Illinois police departments. Still high on this measure when compared to 52 others in the database.  But in the top 15% not in the top 10%.

Jim Hughes

2518 Hartzell St.


Marching Along Central Street ... 13 Years ... And Still Rolling

A Happy and Safe 4th... CSNA


Subscribe to Central Street Neighbors Association Est. 2007 RSS