As the new paving bricks are being laid on East Burlington Street, the village of Riverside will seek another grant totaling nearly $800,000 to complete a similar streetscape makeover on Riverside Road and East Quincy Street.
On Tuesday at 7 p.m., the Riverside Village Board will meet in a special session in order to give consent for Village Manager Jessica Frances to submit a grant application to the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which helped fund the East Burlington Street portion of the downtown face-lift.
Frances said she had no idea what the likelihood was of Riverside obtaining another large grant from the same agency, she said ITEP might look favorably on the village’s goal of completing the project.
“I believe we have a solid plan behind us,” said Frances, who pointed out that the downtown improvements were among those in the comprehensive plan for the area completed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), which was adopted by the village board in 2013.
“We’re following through with the design we’ve already started on Burlington,” Frances said.
According to a map of the proposed improvements completed by Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd., the village is planning to use a combination of permeable and non-permeable red brick pavers for the sidewalks along the east side of Riverside Road and along the commercial area of East Quincy Street.
Eight raised planting beds are also part of the plan on both streets along with several new trees.
On the west side of Riverside Road adjacent to the train station, the plan calls for a small plaza with paved walkways, grassy areas with trees and a tighter, much more strictly defined right-turn lane from Riverside Road onto Bloomingbank Road.
Several new parking spaces would be created near the train station and high-visibility crosswalks would be added for pedestrian safety.
In all, the plan is estimated to cost about $1.2 million. Riverside is seeking about $793,000 from ITEP. With that kind of funding, the village share of the cost would be about $250,000.
Riverside must submit the grant application to ITEP by June 17.
In addition, the roadway along East Quincy Street will be resurfaced from Riverside Road to Harlem Avenue later this year. The Illinois Department of Transportation will award a contract for the resurfacing of both East Quincy Street and Longcommon Road later this summer. Resurfacing work on both roads is expected to begin in September.
While the resurfacing of East Burlington Street is being done later this year after the streetscape makeover downtown, the village won’t be able to delay the Quincy Street resurfacing, because the project has already been submitted to IDOT.
The Quincy Street and Longcommon Road resurfacing projects largely are being funded via a federal Surface Transportation program grant of about $840,000. The grants are awarded for streets that qualify as “collector” routes that carry heavier traffic loads than residential streets.
If the village does move forward with the Quincy streetscape in the near future, some repairs to a newly resurfaced East Quincy Street due to construction will be unavoidable, said Sonya Abt, the village’s director of community development.
“We’d try to minimize that as much as possible,” Abt said.