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Streetscape project could start after Memorial Day

Work to be done in five phases

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Jeffrey Reis of Willett Hoffmann & Associates describes a map of the planned downtown streetscape project in Dixon during a public meeting Wednesday at City Hall. The rendering maps out the planned stages for the work, which include new sidewalks and streets.
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
John Thompson, president and CEO of the Lee County Industrial Development Association, looks over plans for Dixon's downtown streetscape project Wednesday afternoon at Dixon City Hall. The plans were put on display for the public to see.

DIXON – How the downtown streetscape project will happen, and when, became a bit more evident Wednesday at City Hall.

During a second public meeting with engineering firms Wendler Engineering Services Inc. and Willett Hofmann & Associates, it was revealed that the project would be done in five phases.

Streetscape work, which would include new sidewalks and roads, could start soon after Memorial Day, said Jeff Reis of Willett Hofmann, and be completed by November.

Other than the addition of more green space and different locations for trees, little has changed to the project’s aesthetics since the first public meeting Jan. 22.

The new development Wednesday was phasing for the work and details for how the firms will try to keep open pedestrian and street traffic on First Street.

The first four of five phases would be expected to take between 5 and 6 weeks to complete, Reis said. The fifth phase is expected to take 2 weeks.

The order of the first and second phases can be switched, Reis said, if needed, because they’re on the same block of First Street.

In order to keep at least one lane of traffic and one sidewalk along First Street open during the work, the north side of the street will be done first, then the south side.

The fourth and fifth phases also deal with the same stretches of First Street and can be switched, if needed.

The City Council could approve for bids for the project to be advertised in April, Reis said, and award the contract during its first meeting in May.

The inconvenience for the businesses could be minimal.

“The stores should be able to stay open the whole time,” Reis said. “The one time they will be closed is whenever you’re pouring that concrete right next to the doorway. You have to let that cure.”

Contractors will try to pour the concrete later in the day, he said, so that by morning it should finished curing.

Doorways will be blocked while the old sidewalk is ripped up, Reis said, but that will take only a few hours, and then there will be a ramp or other safe access.

The engineering firms will talk to the City Council about accepting bids for concrete and hot mix asphalt work for the roads, Reis said.

The concrete roads are more expensive, but have a longer lifespan and are easier to lay when the weather gets colder toward the end of the project.

Streetscape project phases

The streetscape work in downtown Dixon will be done in five phases.

Phase 1 includes the south side of First Street, from Hennepin Avenue to Galena Avenue; Ottawa Avenue, from Second Street north to the entrance of the KSB Hospital parking lot; and the KSB parking lot.

The hospital will do the work for the parking lot, Jeff Reis of Willett Hofmann & Associates said, as part of an agreement with the city.

Phase 2 includes the north side of First Street, from Hennepin Avenue to Galena Avenue; and Ottawa Avenue, for a portion of the block south of River Street.

Phase 3 – the shortest of the project – will include a small portion of Ottawa Avenue between River and First streets.

Phase 4 includes the south side of First Street, from Galena Avenue to Crawford Avenue; Ottawa Avenue, from First Street south to the KSB parking lot; and a city-owned parking lot.

Phase 5 of the project includes the north side of First Street, from Galena Avenue to Crawford Avenue; and a portion of Ottawa Avenue north of First Street.

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