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City officials: Downtown Batavia open for business during Wilson Street work

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 6:22 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, April 26, 2013 10:49 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – City officials want to reassure the public that downtown Batavia will remain open for business after May 6, when work is expected to start on the $4.4 million Wilson Street streetscape project.

“We are trying to maintain access at all times for the businesses,” Batavia city engineer and project manager Noel Basquin said Thursday during a press briefing about the project. “Downtown Batavia will be open and accessible.”

The project is expected to be substantially completed by November, Basquin said. Wilson Street is the latest road in downtown Batavia to receive streetscape improvements. North River Street was done last year.

The Wilson Street project will be done in conjunction with the Wilson Street traffic signal improvements, which have begun.

A community kickoff meeting on the plans will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chambers at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Batavia Ave.

There will be weekly meetings, starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Panera Bread, 154 W. Wilson St., to update the community on the construction status and answer any questions.

The project will include wider sidewalks and brick paver crosswalks at major intersections, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant ramps at sidewalk corners, pedestrian bump-outs, traffic signal interconnection and modernization, water main replacement and sanitary sewer rehabilitation.

“This is from start to finish a community-driven idea,” said Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke, referring to the downtown streetscape program. “They wanted the downtown to be a unique and friendly place.”

Bump-outs reduce the width of roadway that pedestrians have to cross.

“We’re trying to make crossing Wilson Street friendlier,” City Administrator Bill McGrath said.

The Illinois Department of Transportation will manage the project that will stretch on Wilson Street from Batavia Avenue (Route 31) to Island/Shumway Avenue.

To minimize disruptions, underground utility work will be done between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Including engineering costs, the Wilson Street project is budgeted to cost $4.4 million, with $1.5 million coming from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, a federally funded grant program that promotes alternative transportation, bike and pedestrian travel and streetscape beautification.

In addition, the city will receive $1.2 million from the state for traffic signal improvements.

The project includes $748,622 in tax increment financing funds, $284,504 in city sanitary funds and $347,342 in city water funds.

For project updates and more information on the streetscape program, go to www.BataviaProjectStreetscape.com, call the streetscape project hotline at 630-454-2777, or email questions to streetscape@cityofbatavia.net.

For more information about the project and to download PDF versions of maps, visit http://www.cityofbatavia.net/Content/templates/?a=4372.

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