Highland News Leader

Repaving of Broadway set for 2020, possible new roundabout coming to city

The city of Highland will oil and chip the eastern half of Broadway this summer, a temporary fix for the street’s surface, while the city awaits funding for major upgrades a few years down the road.

The project will focus on resurfacing Broadway from Helvetia Drive to Iberg Road, and upgrading sidewalks. The cost estimate for the project, which is set to begin in 2020, is about $500,000, funded by the Federal Surface Transportation Program. Highland taxpayers will pay about $100,000.

But since that project won’t start until 2020, the city has decided to spend about $40,000 to resurface the road in August, until it receives all the funding to start major overhaul.

But this isn’t the first time there have been major improvements made to Broadway.

“We did a major improvement from where the storm water area is four years ago. There used to be some large ditches, so we put all that underground and widened the street,” said Mark Latham, city manager of Highland.

That project cost $600,000 and went from Swallow Lane, east to Helvetia. It was funded by the city’s non-home rule sales tax.

The new project will pick up where that work left off.

“If you’re project is ready to go, you can probably get it finished in, let’s say, 2018,” Latham said. “If you’re not ready, it could be 2020. We still have to find an engineer. We want the public to know that the streets are going to be fixed.”

Walnut to be resurfaced

The more immediate construction project is Walnut’s resurfacing and sidewalk upgrades, which is funded by the Federal Surface Transportation Program and expected to start mid-July. The total cost of this project is $635,000. The federal program will pay $412,000, and Madison County has promised to give $140,000 toward the project, meaning taxpayers will only fork over $83,000 for Walnut’s upgrade.

A third roundabout coming?

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) also gave the city approval to apply for safety funds to create a new roundabout at the intersection of Iberg and St. Rose roads.

“We had a death at that intersection, and that increases the ability to get these safety funds,” Latham said.

The city will apply for $750,000 for the proposed project, which Latham says he believes will be most, if not all, of the total cost of the project.

“People enjoy roundabouts, because they don’t have to wait for a stop light, and stop lights are not always the best solution, either,” Latham said. “We will have our application in before the June 1 deadline.”

Even if the city gets approval, construction won’t start right away, because there will have to be relocation of utilities at the intersection, and the city will have to buy additional right-of-way.

“The earliest it would be completed would be 2019, and that’s if we get funds this year,” Latham said. “Roundabouts are a cheaper and safer option than traffic lights.”