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City, Cubs Narrow Waveland & Sheffield For Preliminary Wrigley Work

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This would have been a bigger story if it hadn't rained Tuesday night.

Al Yellon

I was going to write something in my game recap about the narrowing of Sheffield and Waveland Avenues by the city of Chicago so they could do preliminary work in advance of the Cubs' Wrigley Field renovation project, but a torrential downpour got in the way of that.

So, here it is. Above, you see what Waveland now looks like after having concrete barriers put about seven feet from the curb; here's Sheffield (click to embiggen):

Here's what the Cubs said in an email last week to neighborhood residents about this work:

Starting Monday, August 18, portions of Waveland and Sheffield avenues will be closed to allow work to begin by the City of Chicago to relocate underground water and sewer infrastructure. Once complete, this will allow the plans for renovation of the Wrigley Field bleachers.

As we outlined during the discussion last summer, current parking lanes on Waveland and Sheffield will be removed and the Cubs will offer free parking on non-event days in the Green Lot at 1126 W. Grace for residents of the immediate neighborhood. Residents in the area bordered by Addison on the South, Racine/Clark to the West, Irving Park on the North and Wilton on the East can come to the Cubs office at 3721 N. Clark and fill out a neighbor parking application and receive a sticker which will allow Green Lot access. To be issued a Green Lot sticker, residents must have a valid City of Chicago vehicle sticker and proof of address. As the season concludes, we will begin work in other parking lots around Wrigley Field. Much of this work won’t impact fan access and gameday operations, so construction outside the ballpark may begin before the season ends. Following the conclusion of the baseball season, we will begin the Budweiser Bleacher expansion and anticipate completion by Opening Day 2015.

The yellow lines on the east-side curb on Sheffield and north-side curb on Waveland indicate there's no parking there anymore -- ever. You can see at least one of the arrows that's been painted on the street, indicating room for two traffic lanes, but nothing more.

I can tell you from having seen buses try to navigate Waveland Tuesday night, that it's going to be very difficult for bus dropoff of groups, and if buses wait there for groups after games, as has been the case up to now, it will make things difficult for the fire truck and ambulance that come out of the firehouse on Waveland. Perhaps other arrangements have been made for buses going forward, though I don't know where else they could stage them for dropoff that wouldn't cause quite a long walk for the people in the groups.

As noted, the Cubs plan to start construction on moving the outer bleacher wall as soon as the season ends. It appears to me as if the new outer wall will be approximately where the back edge of the bleacher walkway is now, in order to leave enough sidewalk on both streets. The new south-side curb on Waveland and west-side curb on Sheffield will be approximately where the concrete barricades are now.

It's going to be a tight fit.