Residents are invited to provide input on proposed sidewalk and street improvements for the Central Business District (CBD) at a design charette scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 17 at the Centre’s Heritage Ballroom, 100 Symphony Way, at 7 p.m.
“A charette is a hands-on workshop with all interested stakeholders for the purpose of developing a detailed preliminary design in a short period of time,” said John Loete, Elgin’s Public Works Director. “The CBD Streetscape Improvement Project is to enhance the appearance and condition of sidewalk areas throughout the Central Business District.”
The City of Elgin hosted an informational meeting last month to inform and explain to residents and business owners the scope of the streetscape project and get some preliminary input on the types of improvements.
“We’re now looking to get a working design,” said Loete.
To oversee the CBD Streetscape Improvement Project, the City of Elgin has engaged the services of TranSystems Corporation and DLK Civic Design to provide design services for water main and water service replacement, streetscape amenities construction and street resurfacing.
“As part of this overall program, the consultant team will develop a master plan for the streetscape components of the improvements,” said Loete. “But we want and need public input. The master plan will be prepared for the entire CBD before the construction process begins in 2007 and the master plan will incorporate public input.”
Loete also said that there will be room for public input throughout the multiple-year CBD Streetscape Improvement Project to help refine and confirm the design plan for streets to be improved each year.
It is expected that the overall program will be completed over approximately six-years and cost about $17.6 million.
“The CBD Streetscape Improvement Project is in the City’s current five-year master plan with $15.5 million budgeted for utility and streetscape work,” said Loete. “Another $2 million is expected to be budgeted when the City’s new five-year master plan is completed in 2011.”
The utility work will include replacement of the water system and repairs to the sanitary and storm sewer systems. For 2006 the utility work will be completed on Grove Avenue from Prairie to Highland, on Spring Street from Grove to Chicago, and on Fulton from Spring to Villa. The design effort for the utility work is almost complete and construction is scheduled to begin in September of this year.
Following completion of the Streetscape Master Plan, the sidewalk, curb and gutter and street reconstruction/resurfacing on sections of Grove, Spring and Fulton discussed above will be done in 2007. The balance of the proposed phasing is as follows:
2007 Underground, 2008 Surface: Chicago Street from State to Center, Spring Street from Chicago to Highland, and DuPage Street from Spring to Center.
2008 Underground, 2009 Surface: Douglas Street from Chicago to Symphony, Symphony Way from Douglas to Dundee, and Division Street from Douglas to Center.
2009 Underground, 2010 Surface: Highland Avenue from State to Center, Grove Street from Highland to City Hall, and Center Street from Dexter to Kimball.
2010 Underground, 2011 Surface: Spring Street from Highland to Kimball and Dexter Avenue from City Hall to Center.
“The nature of the underground and streetscape construction will create certain challenges in the downtown area,” said Loete. “As a result, construction will be planned and executed in order to maintain reasonable access during construction, and minimize disruption to the extent possible.
“Residents, business owners and other stakeholders will be kept informed about the project through including public meetings, newsletters, updates, and project status reports via mailings/handouts and on the City’s website,” continued Loete. “We want to ensure everyone knows what to expect.”