Construction season is about to begin in Riverside, and while there will be some minor road and alley repair work done this summer, it’ll be nothing like the past couple of years.

Little construction will be done in central Riverside, apart from the construction of a green parking lot at 61-63 E. Burlington St. and the as-yet unscheduled tuckpointing of the Bloomingbank Road train station.

The village will open construction bids for the green parking lot and two green alley projects on April 19, and construction should begin shortly following the village board approving a construction contract, probably at its May 7 meeting.

Funding for the alleys and parking lot is coming from a $502,000 Illinois Green Infrastructure grant.

The alleys, which run between Harlem Avenue and Selborne Road from York to Kent roads will be completely reconstructed. Permeable pavers will be laid over a granular stone subgrade. The pavers will be bordered on each side by a concrete strip, which will help provide strength for the alley surface to handle heavy vehicles such as garbage trucks. The concrete strips will also help funnel the runoff to the permeable pavers.

Most of the Burlington Street parking lot will also be constructed of permeable pavers, although a strip of land that formerly was railroad right-of-way will be topped with asphalt.

The 28-space parking lot will be bordered on the west by a rain garden to assist in storm water drainage.

As far as the train station tuckpointing work goes, Public Works Director Ed Bailey said he’s still hoping for a spring start date, but the go-ahead will be given by Metra, which is providing a $160,000 grant to fund the project.

If the work doesn’t get done this spring, it will have to wait until after the summer event season, which begins in May with Riverside Arts Weekend.

Southcote, Waubansee road repairs

As far as street improvements in Riverside go this year, only two streets will get attention. A portion of Southcote Road, a short stretch from Nuttall Road (where it begins near Ames School) east to Selborne Road simply will be resurfaced, while Waubansee Road, the southernmost road in the village west of First Avenue, will be completely reconstructed.

The work on Waubansee will include rebuilding the sub-base and installing new curbs, gutters and driveway aprons. In addition, part of the project will include transferring residential water service and fire hydrants from a 4-inch main to a newer 8-inch main.

While the change won’t affect water pressure for residential customers, it will provide larger flow volume for the fire hydrants.

“Especially from a firefighting standpoint, it’ll make a dramatic difference,” said Bailey.

Funding for the Southcote Road resurfacing is coming from motor fuel taxes, which are distributed by the state government on a per-capita basis to municipalities in Illinois. Waubansee Road improvements are being funded by the village’s 1-percent non-home rule sales tax, which voters approved in 2006 to fund local infrastructure projects.

The village board is scheduled to approve a construction contract for the road repairs on May 21, with an eye on beginning work in June.

Swan Pond work in flux

The biggest construction project of the year, the regrading of Swan Pond Park and removal of the Hofmann Dam still has no firm start date as the Army Corps of Engineers and the construction firm contracted to do the work iron out final details.

One issue holding up the show is the fate of three utility poles in the park which carry power across the river to Riverside Lawn. The poles stand amid some trees in the spot the Army Corps has designated as the location for a drainage culvert.

The poles were slated to be moved north, but now that plan is being second-guessed by the Army Corps because of the cost to do so, said Village Manager Peter Scalera. ComEd estimated it would cost more than $150,000 to move the poles, so the poles are now likely to remain where they are.

Instead, the Army Corps is working on redesigning the grading plan for the park to create a new low spot farther north for the culvert, said Scalera.

“We hope to look at [the new plan this] week,” said Scalera.

Not moving the utility poles may also mean work can start sooner, said Scalera, since moving them would have taken as much as eight weeks to do.

“We’re hoping this means we’re looking at a May start date,” Scalera said.