BATAVIA – Resident Francine Popeck likes the city’s $4.4 million Wilson Street streetscape project, including a plan to replace the stairs at the northeast corner of Wilson Street and Batavia Avenue with a ramp.
“I like the fact they are taking the stairs out,” she said. “That’s very dangerous in the winter.”
Popeck was one of the residents attending a community kickoff meeting on the plans Tuesday. Nighttime work on the project is set to begin Tuesday, not Monday as originally scheduled. The underground utility work will be between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
“We will be monitoring the night work,” Batavia City Engineer and project manager Noel Basquin said. “If it impacts traffic too much, we will adjust the hours.”
City officials want to reassure the public that downtown Batavia will remain open for business.
“We’re trying not to impact traffic during the day,” Basquin said.
Daytime work is set to begin two weeks after the nighttime work starts. 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 already have begun.
“It’s going to make traffic run smoother and a little faster,” said Basquin, in talking about the traffic signal improvements.
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, the installation of pocket parks at intersections, traffic signal interconnection and modernization, water main replacement and sanitary sewer rehabilitation.
“We are trying to beautify the downtown and make it safe for residents,” Batavia 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.
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 information on the streetscape program, visit www.BataviaProjectStreetscape.com, call the streetscape project hotline at 630-454-2777; or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.