From the Mayor's DeskNovember 2009
OVERPASS PROJECT UPDATE FAQQ: What caused the delay in the overpass construction?
A: Geotechnical conditions changed with the increased groundwater elevation that resulted in stone columns not meeting required stability for the MSE walls. A new design had to be developed and approved by IDOT with concurrent approved costs for the changes.
Q: What is the expected project completion date?
A: The project is still on a schedule for completion of December 2010. The revised design noted above will actually speed up the settlement time and keep the project on schedule.
Q: What work will be going on at this time?
A: Additional aggregate fill reinforced with a geotechnical grid will be under construction in November and then the MSE walls will be going up in December barring weather delays. West Pontoon Road widening on the south side should be completed with new curb and gutter in place. If cold weather does not set in during November, a new Hot Mix Asphalt surfacing will be completed on West Pontoon Road up to close to Rode Ave. Some bridge work may be going on through the winter with the steel girders being set in place, barring severe weather.
PONTOON ROAD OVERPASS PROJECT
Pontoon Road – The existing highway-rail grade crossing will be replaced with a new structure carrying Pontoon Road over the tracks of the NS, KCS (GWWE), and UP, as well as Illinois Route 203 Nameoki Road (IL 203). Due to this construction, the following intersections along Pontoon Road will be closed: Mitchell Avenue, Braden Avenue, Melrose Avenue and Briarcliff Drive. All of these intersections are located west of the existing Pontoon Road grade crossing. With closure of the aforementioned intersections, the following new roadways will be constructed: an extension of Briarmoor Lane between Briarhaven Drive and Century Drive; a connector roadway between Pontoon Road and Old Alton Road, a connector roadway between Rode Avenue and Braden Avenue (all located west of the existing Pontoon Road grade crossing); and, a connector roadway between IL 203 and North Street, located east of the existing IL 203/Pontoon Road highway intersection. The following streets and alleys will be improved or reconstructed: Pontoon Road; IL 203; Rode Road; Briarhaven Drive; North Street; Amos Avenue; and the north/south alley between Manley Avenue and Amos Avenue. Traffic signals will be installed at the following intersections; Briarhaven Drive/Pontoon Road; North Street/IL 203; and North Street/Pontoon Road. Various drainage improvements will also be made to accommodate this construction.
22nd Street Crossing – The City will vacate the roadway on both sides of the existing 22nd Street highway-rail grade crossing. Following vacation of the roadway, the railroads will remove the existing crossing surfaces and the City will erect barricades to prevent vehicular traffic from entering railroad right-of-way. The 22nd Street grade crossing will not be closed and barricaded until the new Pontoon Road Overpass is complete and open to vehicular traffic. Various drainage improvements will also be made to accommodate the construction in this area.
20th Street Crossing – Century Drive will be extended from 22nd Street to 20th Street; 20th Street will be re-aligned to accommodate trucks and other vehicles that will utilize the Century Drive Extension. The following intersections will be reconstructed; Illinois Avenue/20th Street; and Century Drive Extension/20th Street. The extension of Century Drive also requires the removal and replacement of NS’s Yard Office building. Various drainage improvements will also be made to accommodate the construction in this area. (refer to Century Drive Extension drawings)
Will Pontoon Road be closed during construction of Phase 2?
Yes, however a detour roadway (2 lane) will be constructed just north of the existing roadway (refer to attached drawing).
What will happen to the big dirt piles?
They will be moved over and used as fill along the existing Pontoon Road.
During construction, who will address individual problem and concerns?
The City will have a Resident Engineer who will serve as the City’s liaison with the contractor. This Resident Engineer will have a field trailer on site during construction.
How long will the project take?
This project is being constructed in 2 phases. Phase 1 is nearing completion and Phase 2 has been bid and the award is pending. Phase 2 is scheduled to begin construction in spring 2008. Phase 2 has 234 working days (a normal construction season has 117 working days) and therefore is anticipated to be completed in 2009.
Welcome Back Downtown
The City of Granite City is about to embark on a new and exciting time in the Downtown area. The first phase of the Niedringhaus Streetscape project, which is looking quite marvelous, has been completed and the second phase will soon be underway. We are also getting closer to the groundbreaking of our new four-screen movie theater, which is projected to be open for business by the second quarter of 2009. Also, the Old Press-Record Building is in the process of undergoing a transformation that will change it into a new Youth Center/Sports Complex for our City’s young people. In addition, our new camera system and increased police presence has caused more than a 60% reduction in crime in the downtown area.
The funding for these new improvements has been provided through the Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, which was established in 1986. It is a source of revenue that has been generated only by our downtown businesses, such as Walgreens, McDonald’s, Quik Trip and Gateway Regional Medical Center among many others, all located in the downtown area. The redevelopment of the downtown area, which will include new renovations throughout the downtown area over the next six years, is only possible because of the likes of those above mentioned businesses.
It is important for me to note, however, that because this TIF money was generated by downtown area businesses, it can only be spent on improvements in the downtown area. If this were a general revenue source that could be spent anywhere throughout the City, we promise that we would spend it improving the overall infrastructure of the City, beginning with repaving every street in town. Since this is not possible, we have developed a budgeting plan that will allow us to repave every block in the City by 2023 and then continually repave each street at least once every 15 years thereafter.
Until then, I hope that you and your family will begin to be able to enjoy Downtown Granite City once again, which is improving every day.
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