The Collinsville Streets Department is ready for a busy construction year as several long-awaited projects break ground in 2013.
With 11 big projects on the burners, Collinsville Director of Streets Rod Cheatham said the city has "really been blessed as far as our funding. You really have to be aggressive to get the federal funds, and our staff has worked hard to make sure everything is done the way the federal government wants it done so we can get that funding."
All but one of the projects is supported significantly by federal funds.
The $290,000 sidewalk and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance project at Eastport Plaza is funded by TIF money and proposed after a citizen survey showed people were concerned about the lack of sidewalks in the area. "That's what the TIF funds are for, infrastructure improvements," Cheatham said.
The Eastport project is scheduled to be completed in about two weeks. Work started in November.
Every year the street department reviews and updates the city's street inventory. On that inventory, streets are rated one through 10, which one being an unimproved road and a 10 being a newly constructed road.
"We look at what needs to be done and what qualifies for funding," Cheatham said.
Only projects that involve roads serving connectors, or main roads, are eligible for federal financing, and only those roads in a TIF district can use TIF funds. Other streets, such as neighborhood streets, must be funded using city money, Cheatham said.
"Which is why we can't update every street in the city," he said. "It depends on the funds that are available."
What are the newest, upcoming road projects?
* Phase 1 of the $600,000 South Clinton Street project starts this month. The work is funded with up to 80 percent federal funds through the Surface Transportation Program. The remainder of the cost is funded by Madison County and the Motor Fuel Tax fund. The work is being done due to the poor overall condition of South Clinton Street from South Street to Glen Street.
* Phase 2 of the South Clinton Street Project will cost $700,000 and is expected to begin in August with the same funding as the first phase of the project. Currently the plans for the project still need to be reviewed by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The second phase addresses the poor overall street condition of South Clinton Street between Glen Street and Illinois 159.
* The final plans for the Camelot Sidewalks project have been submitted to IDOT. Once those plans are approved, the $280,000 project is expected to begin in June. The project is funded entirely by federal funds, up to $360,000, through the Safe Routes to Schools Program. The project adds sidewalks along Camelot Drive from Keebler Road to Illinois 159.
* An $800,000 project that will add turn lanes and relieve congestion at the intersection of Keebler Road and Beltline Road is expected to break ground in November, pending plan approval by IDOT. The project is 80 percent funded by the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program. The remainder of the project will be funded by the Northeast Business District funds, Madison County and state funds. Once it begins, the construction is expected to take between four and six months. "We're still in the design phase," Cheatham said. "We are trying desperately not to shut lanes down during the construction, but, that's a very high traffic area so it will be a challenge."
* Two bridges will be removed and replaced due to advanced age and poor condition. "Both bridges are well beyond their lifespan," Cheatham said. The Clinton Bridge project is expected to begin in November. Eighty percent of the $1.2 million project will be federally funded through the Major Bridge Program Funds with the remaining money coming from Madison County and the Motor Fuel Tax funds. The second bridge, the Summit Avenue Bridge, is still in the design phase and construction on the $810,000 project won't begin until late 2014. When the project does begin, the bridge will be closed for about six months. Up to 80 percent of the cost of the project will be funded through the federal Funding For Construction-Surface Transportation Program. The remaining 20 percent cost of the project will be funded by TIF.
* Phases 3 and 4 of the Collinsville streetscape project are up to 75 percent funded through a federal grant through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program. The remainder of the total $2.8 million project will be funded by TIF funds. Phase 3, which is estimated to cost $1 million, is expected to begin in November and will update sidewalks, drainage, curbs and street lights around City Hall from Main Street to Church Street to the Illinois 159 improvement. The updates will match the updates made to the west side of Main Street in 2003. The fourth phase of the streetscape project is still in the preliminary design phase, but, when it begins, construction will address sidewalks, curbs, drainage, and street lighting on the east side of Illinois 159, along Main Street, Clay Street, and Aurora Street. The estimated cost on Phase 4 is $1.8 million.
* A second, 100 percent federally funded Safe Routes to Schools Program project is in the preliminary design phase to add sidewalks along Carl Street for students walking to Twin Echo Elementary School. So far, the project is estimated to cost about $200,000 and the federally funded project will pay for a qualifying project up to $250,000.
* Clay Street from Combs Avenue to Lebanon Road is scheduled to receive a $600,000 facelift to address poor road surface conditions and to bring it up to ADA requirements. While the plans are still in the early design phase, resurfacing most likely won't begin until fall 2015 or spring 2016. Up to 80 percent of the project will be funded through the federal Surface Transportation Program with the remaining 20 percent paid for through TIF funds. Clay Street is also due for a sewer and water system upgrade, which will be completed before work on the resurfacing project begins, Cheatham said.
Anyone with questions about Collinsville roads, or about construction projects, can call the streets department at 346-5214. "Don't hesitate to call if you have any questions," he said.
Contact reporter Jennifer A. Schaaf at email@example.com or 618-239-2667.