After four years of false starts, hold-ups and do-overs, a project to overhaul Centennial Park in Riverside – and pave the streets around it – will break ground this spring.
Monday night, village trustees voted 4-0 (Lonnie Sacchi and John Scully were absent) to award a construction contract to improve the park and to authorize money from a motor fuel tax to resurface East and Pine avenues.
The lowest responsible bidder for the construction contract, at $346,724, was Schroeder Asphalt of Marengo.
While there’s no date for work to begin, Public Works Director Greg Koch said that it would be some time this spring. Exact timing will depend on the Illinois Department of Transportation, which will be awarding a $274,668 grant that will cover 55 percent of the work.
In 2006, Riverside had received word that it would get an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant for the improvements, which were then estimated at $420,000. The village was responsible for matching 20 percent of the total amount for the project.
However, officials now say that the project will cost about $505,000, and that the village’s share will be $230,938, or about 45 percent of the final amount.
Of that total, the village will use $89,000 from the motor fuel tax to repave East and Pine avenues. Officials had believed the grant would cover the road resurfacing, but have since learned that this work was not included.
Among the improvements coming is a complete renovation of about half of Centennial Park. The service drive between the west well house and water tower will be removed and the park’s southern boundary will be landscaped with new sidewalks and six new trees.
Meanwhile, the sidewalk on the west side of East Avenue will be replaced and reconfigured to provide a wider area for outdoor dining. An ADA-compliant ramp will be constructed for the west well house, which is expected to house its first exhibit of historic artifacts this year.
The plan also calls for lighting the water tower, which is the centerpiece of the Centennial Park renovation. The water tower received a $1.25 million restoration in 2005.
Harold J. Wiaduck Jr., who was village president when the grant application was made, thanked the village board for moving forward on the project.
“Your vote tonight will allow the completion of this project and the improvement of a very significant part of our town,” Wiaduck said.
Among the improvements coming is a complete renovation of about half of Centennial Park.