Water repairs close Belmont Avenue

Beginning today, the city will close part of the 700 block of West Belmont Avenue for more than a week  to repair a 104-year-old brick sewer that collapsed earlier this year.

The Department of Water Management blocked off all traffic this morning on Belmont between North Halstead Avenue and North Orchard Street. Chicago Transit Authority buses are currently the only vehicles permitted to pass through the work site.

DWM spokesman Tom LaPorte says the work is scheduled to be completed on July 23.

According to LaPorte, the sewer collapsed some months ago, but repairs were not urgent. The DWM delayed the repairs until school ended for nearby Mt. Carmel Academy and then scheduled them to avoid Chicago Cubs’ home games, LaPorte says.

Chris Karountzos, owner of the New Modern Grill on the corner of Belmont and Halstead, says that the construction has decreased the already limited amount of parking in the area.

“It’s already been slow today because of (the construction),” she says. “Our regulars can’t find parking.”

CTA spokeswoman Katelyn Thrall says riders taking the No. 77 Belmont, No. 151 Sheridan, and No. 156 LaSalle buses will experience a minor delay in their commute.

“Buses are operating through the area at reduced speeds and bus operators will make announcements alerting customers to the cause of the delay,” she said.