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Batavia's Main Street reconstruction to start soon

$6.9 million project includes section of Route 31

This drawing shows a cross-section of what Main Street in Batavia will look like at the completion of this year's $6.9 million reconstruction project. Work is expected to get underway next month and be finished by mid-November.
This drawing shows a cross-section of what Main Street in Batavia will look like at the completion of this year's $6.9 million reconstruction project. Work is expected to get underway next month and be finished by mid-November.

BATAVIA – Work is expected to get underway next month on the reconstruction of Main Street in Batavia.

The massive $6.9 million project will cover the street’s first six blocks, from Water Street to South Van Nortwick Avenue.

The rebuild will be total, including an entirely new road surface and sidewalks. Below ground, there will be new water mains, storm sewers and sanitary sewers.

At the two-lane street’s critical intersection with four-lane Route 31, there will be a new traffic signal, as well as new highway pavement in both directions: a block north to First Street and a block south to Elm Street.

The reconstruction work is expected to be complete by the middle of November.

During much of that time, motorists will have to get used to a detour route that will allow for only one-way, westbound traffic on Main Street for the length of the work zone from Water to Van Nortwick.

The official loop, extending from Water to Randall Road, will rely on West Wilson Street for eastbound motorists taking the detour.

Two-way traffic will be retained on Main between Van Nortwick and Randall.

On the two affected blocks of Route 31, motorists should expect lane reductions to one in each direction on the north-south highway during most of the project.

Nearly $3 million for the work is coming from federal and state transportation grants, much of which was secured by Mayor Jeff Schielke.

The city of Batavia engineering staff overseeing the work includes Project Manager Chris Bong, City Engineer Rahat Bari and Assistant City Engineer Andrea Podraza, along with Darren Frawley, a private consultant serving as resident engineer.

When complete, the widened Main Street roadway will include two 13-foot-wide traffic lanes, a seven-foot-wide parking lane on the north side of the street and five-foot-wide sidewalks on either side, separated from the roadway by grassy parkways of varying widths.

The traffic lanes will receive pavement markings identifying them as “sharrows,” for shared use by bicycles and motor vehicles.

The new water mains will replace pipes that were installed sometime prior to 1930.

At the same time, the combined sanitary and storm water sewers will be separated with the addition of new lines. New curbing and gutters will be installed along the pavement.

Main Street is, ironically, not Batavia’s main street. That distinction goes to Wilson Street, which links both sides of the Fox River.

However, Main is a key collector street running along the south edge of the downtown on the city’s west side.

It is one of three major city streets, along with Wilson and McKee streets, connecting the city’s downtown business district and west side residential areas with Randall Road and extending to points west.

Properties along the Main Street reconstruction route include commercial and light industrial businesses along with residential homes.

The work will take place in four stages, starting with a “pre-stage” in the first block of Main between Water and Route 31, known locally as Batavia Avenue.

During this stage, the one-way westbound restriction will be imposed for that block only while the water mains and storm sewers are installed.

After a few weeks the work will get into high gear with the next stage, the reconstruction of the south half of Main Street and the west half of Route 31.

The one-way, westbound-only restriction will then take effect for the entire Main Street work zone.

Crews will first install the underground pipes before removing and then replacing sidewalks, curbs and gutters and driveways. Finally, the base layer of asphalt pavement will be laid down.

This process will be repeated in the next stage, focusing on the north half of Main and the east half of Route 31.

The westbound-only restriction on Main will remain in place, with workers shifting the traffic lane from one side of the roadway to the other between stages.

Similarly, the two available traffic lanes on Route 31 will be moved when work shifts to the other side of the highway.

In the final stage, crews will pave over the roadway base with the asphalt surface layer before installing permanent signs and pavement markings.

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