|Downtown Project Schedule|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 20 March 2013 00:00|
Safety measures, communications and patience will be keys in coming months as the downtown utilities and streetscape project makes its way west along Main Street.
Contractors and city representatives told those attending a pre-project meeting March 14 at the Monroe Township Building that safety cannot be emphasized enough as heavy equipment is brought in and excavations begin for the $3.3 million project.
The city is “very excited to be able to undertake the streetscape project as part of the downtown utilities project,” City Manager Jon Crusey said.
Christy Butera, city engineer, thanked downtown residents and building and business owners saying the city appreciates their active engagement in project planning and support.
“The hard part is getting ready to start,” Butera said.
Weekly update meetings will be held at 9 a.m. each Thursday to help continue with open dialogue, she said.
Ron Blair of contractor Double Jay Construction said access sidewalks would be in place during the project, which will include the tearing out of the street and sidewalk from buildings on the north side of the street to those on the south.
Blair asked business owners to encourage customers to stay within the sidewalk area.
Fellow Double Jay worker Randy Blair agreed. “It is an active construction site,” he said noting equipment will be maneuvering in the area and there will be holes in the ground for workers to access utility lines. In some locations, the curb is 15 feet deep, material that will have to be removed so work can be done, Randy Blair said.
“None of us want to see anybody get injured out there … from construction guys to any of you,” he said.
He asked anyone crossing near equipment to make eye contact with the equipment operator so the operator is aware of the pedestrian.
“We are in the middle of your downtown. We know it,” Randy Blair said. The company has done other downtown streetscape projects so workers are used to that atmosphere. However, Randy Blair said, the company also is “cautious about it.”
Business owners with alternate access to the building, such as a rear entrance, were asked to encourage patrons to use those accesses during the project work affecting their area.
With all the work going on, people should expect the area to be dirty, dusty and muddy, Ron Blair said. “We’ll do our best to accommodate all of you. In turn, we ask everybody to work with us,” he said.
Double Jay Construction was scheduled to begin work today, March 20, to install storm sewer east of First Street. They planned to work 10-hour days Monday through Saturday to complete the work as soon as possible.
Ron Blair said underground utilities work would be done first in each of the two main phases beginning from First to Third Street. Each section is expected to take 90 days.
Signs notifying motorists of street closings will include secondary signs saying downtown businesses remain open, Butera said.
The city will have a full-time inspector at the construction site, she said. Anyone with questions about the work being done is asked to city staff, not the construction crews on the job, Butera said.
The traffic signals at Main Street and First, Second and Third streets will be replaced as part of the project. As the project moves west, the intersections will be controlled using four-way stops with the signals being installed later in the project. Whether or not a new traffic signal will be placed a t Main and Fourth streets remains to be determined.
DOWNTOWN PROJECT SCHEDULE (Weather could change)
Weekly update meetings will be held 9 a.m. Thursdays (starting March 21) in the Monroe Township Building basement.
March 18: Double Jay Construction begins mobilization
March 19: Downtown properties will be videotaped (interior and exterior) to record the existing conditions to protect property/business owner and contractor
March 20-24: Main Street, east of First Street, will be restricted to one lane to install storm sewer.
March 26-April 5: Main Street and First Street intersection closing along with Main Street east of First Street for utilities construction.
April – Early July: Work between First and Third streets
July – October: Work between Third Street and Railroad
Early October: Final paving and striping from railroad to Canal Lock Park