BATAVIA – Prairie Path Cycles owner Mike Farrell has become used to seeing construction near his downtown Batavia store since opening his Wilson Street shop in 2007.
The year his store opened, Wilson Street bridge was being replaced. And last year, North River Street was being replaced as part of the ongoing streetscape project. So Farrell was not too concerned Monday as work started on the city’s $4.4 million Wilson Street streetscape project.
“What are you going to do?” Farrell asked. “You have to roll with it to some degree. It might encourage more people to ride their bicycles.”
City officials have been trying to let business owners and residents know what to expect during the project. Starting tonight, work is expected to begin on replacing the Wilson Street sanitary sewer from Batavia Avenue to Water Street.
The work will start between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., and single-lane closures are possible during this work. In addition, parking on the north side of the street in the affected area will not be allowed during the work.
While most of the daytime work is not expected to start until two weeks after the nighttime work starts, workers will be remove portions of the existing pedestrian bump-outs at the intersection of Wilson and Water streets to prepare for future work.
The work will affect different establishments in different ways. Batavia Public Library Director George Scheetz said the project shouldn’t have a big impact on patrons who are trying to get to the library. The library’s entrance and parking lot is at Batavia Avenue and First Street, away from the work.
“We’re a destination,” Scheetz said. “A lot of people already drive to our spot.”
The sidewalk near the library along the south side of Wilson Street will be torn out as part of the project. But the stairs at the corner of Water and Wilson streets leading to the library will remain open, Scheetz said.
“I would guess over the course of the project, there will be moments of inconvenience for everyone,” he said. “I’m looking to the end result. I think it will make it look nicer.”
The Wilson Street project will be done in conjunction with the Wilson Street traffic signal improvements, which have already started. Wilson Street is the latest road in downtown Batavia to receive streetscape improvements.
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. The majority of the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Batavia School District 101 does not anticipate having to make changes to its bus routes because of the Wilson Street work. During the day, the work is set to start between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., after the buses already have dropped off students, said Dan Polowy, the district’s assistant director of buildings and grounds.
“The bus drivers have been told to call the Illinois Central dispatch center if they run into any problems,” Polowy said. “We only have a few more weeks left of getting through school before summer break.”
June 3 is the last day of school for the school district.
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.