Mt. Vernon Register-News

April 3, 2013

Council updated on capital projects

By TESA GLASS tesa.glass@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — The City Council received an update on capital projects this week, with reports from City Projects Manager Nathan McKenna and City Engineer Brad Ruble.

McKenna spoke of the Aquatic Zoo, sign ordinance, wayfinding system, branding study findings, the housing program, Ninth Street Streetscape, Continental Rail Spur, former Armory, city energy audit, the Times Square Water Tower and pedestrian bridge, online zoning applications and lists of surplus real estate property owned by the city.

According to McKenna, the Aquatic Zoo, a $5.2 million project, is still on track for a July 4 opening, and is 50 percent complete with all forms in place for the water areas, cement pouring is going on now, and the pump house and concessions are under construction.

The sign ordinance is in the draft stage and 95 percent complete. A second quarter 2013 completion date has been set.

The wayfinding system is near preliminary design completion, with review meetings scheduled for April 17 and 18. The design of the system is set for completion in the second quarter of this year, however implementation has not been scheduled yet.

The branding study has been completed, and the city is in the process of phasing out old letterhead and all departments are using the new logo on business cards. Implementation is estimated at 75 percent complete.

The housing program is in the implementation phase, with planning completed. Marketing material and professional outreach is in its early phases and a housing program website is under construction.

The Ninth Street Streetscape program was awarded to Depew & Owen with construction completion set for July.

The Continental Rail Spur design has been completed, and at this time, construction on hold while the Union Pacific Railroad installs a switch. The $1.15 million project is 100 percent grant funded and expected to be completed during the second quarter of this year.

The former Armory has had an asbestos survey completed, and a grant application submitted and plans to turn it into the Broadway Market are waiting on finalization of grant awards.

The city is undergoing a facility energy audit, McKenna reported, and recommendations on lighting and potential cost and reimbursable funding is being received.

The Times Square Mall Water Tower is complete and being used at this time, however, a design for painting, which will also be used on the Broadway pedestrian bridge, is waiting on a recommendation from the Branding Leadership Team on a design.

Zoning applications are expected to be online for residents and businesses by the end of the second quarter this year, and new applications are being typed and converted to .pdf forms available on the city website.

McKenna said a list of surplus real estate properties is being updated and compiled, and will then be reviewed to identify properties the city will keep for future use.

Ruble reported on major road and street projects, as well as water, sewer and sidewalk projects.

Ruble said the Veterans Memorial Drive/South Davidson extension is still under construction, with the roadway pavement complete; sidewalk construction is at 20 percent complete and construction on the area will begin again in mid-April. Projections are to be complete by July.

The South 34th Street project, from Peach to Veterans Memorial Drive, is complete in the construction phase to just north of Watertower Place, and completion by the end of the second quarter is on target.

Reconstruction of 42nd Street from Victoria to Richview Road is underway, with alignments finalized and work ongoing with permitting and right-of-way impacts. In addition, water lines have been potholed.

Work on South 27th Street from Jamison to Veterans Memorial Drive is in the design phase with an engineering contract with Rhutasel and Associates waiting for award. In addition, negotiations are ongoing for a major right-of-way parcel, Ruble reported.

The survey work is complete on the North 27th Street, Old Union Road project, which goes from Richview Road to Illinois Route 37. A final decision on the typical section of roadway has been determined, Ruble said, and design is underway.

The Perkins Avenue realignment and widening project has also been surveyed. The project will go from 10th to 12th streets and Ruble said a portion on a portion of the Illinois Route 37 details are being decided. The next step is alignment of the storm sewer, while the Illinois Department of Transportation is handling land acquisition.

Work on the Airport Road project has been started with survey work complete and the road layout determined. Right-of-way and easement documents are being prepared, and drainage design still has to be done.

The North 34th Street and Central project, from Broadway to North 32nd Street, has also been surveyed, and right-of-way issues are being worked out before starting engineering layout.