Last week’s weather warmup was a sure signal for two things in Riverside?”spring and the impending roadwork season. This year, road construction is expected to get started in May and end this fall, according to Public Works Director Michael Hullihan.
Contractors are currently bidding for the roadwork, which is being funded by bond proceeds voters approved in 2004. Hullihan estimated that the village will expend some $700,000 on this year’s portion of the street improvement program.
Bids from contractors will be unsealed on March 20, and the village board is expected to approve a construction contract at its April 3 meeting.
Among the streets to be resurfaced during 2006 are the entire length of Olmsted Road, from Riverside to Harlem Avenue; Michaux Road, from Akenside to North Delaplaine Road; Kimbark Road, from Forest Avenue to Park Place; Loudon Road, from Northgate Road to Nuttall Road; Westover Avenue; the railroad approaches on North Cowley Road and North Delaplaine Road from Herrick Road to the Burlington Northern tracks; and a triangular section of road where Nuttall and Northwood road intersect.
Work will include milling off the existing asphalt and resurfacing the pavement. In addition, portions of curbs and gutters will be replaced, along with a limited number of driveway aprons. Anyone whose driveway aprons are scheduled for replacement will be notified by the village prior to construction so that vehicles can be parked on the street while the work is completed. According to Hullihan, anyone whose driveway apron is being replaced will be unable to access their drives for about four days.
Roads will be open to traffic during the entire length of the projects, according to Hullihan, except during short periods when asphalt is being applied. The roadwork is expected to take between eight and 10 weeks, Hullihan said.
Meanwhile, the village has tentatively planned on improving Arlington Road, a concrete street that needs complete reconstruction, during 2006. However, work on that road is contingent upon the success of a 1-percent sales tax referendum on the March 21 primary ballot.
A majority of village trustees have publicly opposed using bond proceeds for reconstructing roads, saying the cost of such projects would derail the pace of resurfacing the village’s streets.
In the past the village has created Special Service Areas to fund street reconstruction projects.
Preliminary estimates showed that resurfacing Arlington Road would cost the village just under $19,000. However, when engineering was completed the village determined that the street needed to be completely rebuilt at a cost of nearly $170,000, or nearly 25 percent of the total amount the village intended on spending for road improvements in 2006.
Trustees in January put the sales tax question on the ballot to account for streets like Arlington Road, which need attention, but would be otherwise too expensive to include in the current resurfacing program. The village expects to realize $177,000 per year in additional sales tax revenue, to be used exclusively for infrastructure projects, if the referendum is successful.
Quincy Street resurfacing
Later in the summer, road crews will begin resurfacing the entire length of East Quincy Street, from Riverside Road to Harlem Avenue. That work, which Hullihan said would likely begin in August or September, is begin funded primarily by the federal government.
Some 75 percent of the $456,000 East Quincy Street project is being paid for by federal funds. The remaining 25 percent, or $114,000, will be matched by motor fuel tax funds collected by the Village of Riverside.
Hullihan said that the scope of work on Quincy Street will be similar to that elsewhere in the village in 2006. He did not expect the road to be closed to through traffic during construction.
One road scheduled for resurfacing during 2006 that will not be completed is Ridgewood Road, the street that runs in front of Riverside-Brookfield High School between First Avenue and Golf Road. That project, which will also receive 75-percent federal funding, has been delayed until the summer of 2007.
According to Hullihan, the bonds issued for street repairs in 2004 will be completely expended in 2008, when roughly $200,000 is expected to be left from that issue. That’s longer than initially expected, due in large part to lower-than-expected construction costs in the last two years.
“The pricing we have been getting and the construction oversight has allowed us to consistently schedule and pave more with less than expected dollars,” Hullihan said. “The amount of actual miles of road paved may, therefore, be more than currently depicted on the [street improvement plan] map.”