Valorie Eversole Daily Union Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Residents along East North Ninth Street got a chance to hear about the plans for road improvements and the impact the project would have on their property.
City engineer Alan Spesard took time before Monday’s city council meeting to explain the plans to about 25 people at City Hall.
“Besides Route 16 and Route 128, Ninth Street is actually the most traveled road in town, by the traffic counters we use,” Spesard told the group. “The road is the main route to Dam West Recreation area.”
Spesard said that plans for road improvements began in 2003 as a conceptual project waiting for funding. In August 2012 Shelbyville was awarded the Public Lands Highway Discretionary Grant in the amount of $970,640 with 100 percent funding. This includes 9th Street from the railroad tracks east of Morgan Street to the Corps property at the road over the dam.
“There is no funding requirements by the city,” Spesard said.
With the award, Spesard and his department designed a wish list of improvements that would include concrete curb, gutter and storm sewer, and sidewalks. The project would complete phase 9 of the General Dacey Bike Trail from North 6th Street to the City Park and the lake recreational area.
Other benefits would separate the storm sewer from the sanitary system, bury overhead lines, install lighting, and replace old water line along 9th Street. There would also be improvement to the access road to Glenwood Cemetery from gravel to oil and chip.
The road would be expanded from 22 feet to 26 feet across and use the city right-of-way for improvements.
The bid for contract will be let in Spring of 2014 allowing for the soonest start on the project.
“April to October is construction season. We want to sequence the construction for less inconvenience to property owners and visitors,” Spesard said. “It will be inconvenient - we’re not kidding anybody.”
He explained that there will be one lane traffic on the road, entrances to residents driveways and the city park will be done one-half at a time.
“The contractors will be required to allow 24-hour access to your properties,” Spesard told the crowd. “Mail delivery and garbage pickup will not be disrupted although relocation of mailboxes and use of dumpsters may be necessary during the construction period.”
He added that driveways and landscapes along the easements will be restored, but that some trees and other landscaping will be removed with the widening of the street. Concerned property owners will be able to talk with the contractor about those issues ahead of the project.
“The contractors is willing to talk with you individually if you have concerns,” Spesard said. “He wants everyone to be happy with what’s being done.”
“As with all projects, there is an inconvenience during the work, but it will be worth it in the end,” Spesard said.
Spesard provided conceptual drawings of the plans, which still have to be approved by Illinois Department of Transportation, for the residents to see. The drawings are also available by contacting his office. He also encouraged residents with additional questions and concerns to contact his office.
“We appreciate the work Alan has put in on the project. He has had the residents in mind when drawing up the plans,” said Mayor Jeff Johnson.