Oak Park Avenue to reopen after excavation probing historic cemetery site

SHARE Oak Park Avenue to reopen after excavation probing historic cemetery site
SHARE Oak Park Avenue to reopen after excavation probing historic cemetery site

A road in the Northwest Side Dunning neighborhood is scheduled to reopen Tuesday after archeologists conducted an exploratory excavation at the site of a historic, unmarked cemetery.

Oak Park Avenue had been closed between Irving Park Road and Forest Preserve Drive since late June as the Chicago Dept. of Transportation and an archeology team performed controlled test excavations in the unmarked Read Dunning Cemetery No. 3, CDOT said.

The project was to determine if there are any burials in the path of a planned roadway reconstruction project on Oak Park Avenue, according to CDOT.

The work did confirm that a section of Oak Park Avenue that was built in the 1930s crossed a portion of the unmarked cemetery, the department said Friday.

“The safety and sanctity of the graves and Cemetery No. 3 were maintained during the exploratory excavation,” the department said in a prepared statement.

In order to comply with state laws regarding human remains, city officials will now develop a final report and an action plan to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, CDOT said.

Oak Park Avenue will remain open until a final plan is approved.

The historic cemetery was primarily used by a county institution that came before the Read Dunning facility, between 1890 and 1912.

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