DIXON – Work on the downtown streetscape project is scheduled to begin this morning.
The first phase, which includes a portion of First Street, a portion of Peoria Avenue and a portion of Third Street, could be completed in July, Commission Jeff Kuhn said.
Although there were more pleas from residents during the regular City Council meeting Monday night to reconsider the 3-2 decision to go with diagonal parking instead of parallel parking on the south side of First Street between Hennepin and Galena avenues, the diagonal parking plans will remain.
Barricades to close the streets and equipment for the work were in place by Monday night. Around 4 p.m., a change in the schedule and the blocked streets was approved, Kuhn said.
Instead of working on one side of First Street between Hennepin and Galena avenues at a time, Fischer Excavating Inc. of Freeport told the city it could shorten the work on that block from 10 weeks to 7, Kuhn said, by blocking both lanes of traffic and doing both sides at once.
Last month, the Dixon City Council awarded a contract for the streetscape work to Fischer Excavating for nearly $5.8 million, a portion of which will be paid for by KSB Hospital for work to a parking lot off Ottawa Avenue.
The city also contracted Wendler Engineering Services Inc. and Willett, Hofmann & Associates, for a combined $321,000, to do engineering work and planning for the project, bringing the total streetscape cost to about $6.1 million.
The issue of diagonal parking or parallel parking has been debated during previous City Council meetings, and the decision to go with diagonal parking – for more spaces and easier parking – was supported by Kuhn and commissioners Dennis Considine and David Blackburn.
Several residents voiced concern over the change and said it would diminish the aesthetics of the block and create safety hazards for parking.
But on the eve of the project’s start, the City Council’s division on the issue didn’t budge.
Mayor Jim Burke and Commissioner Colleen Brechon were on the side of parallel parking.
The city will hold two public meetings to gather feedback and discuss a proposed ordinance limiting what city streets semitrailers could drive on.
The first meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, and the second meeting will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 27. Both meetings will be held at the Public Safety Building.
There will be a public meeting about proposed semitrailer routes through the city at 6 p.m. May 22 at Public Safety Building, 220 S. Hennepin Ave.
The Dixon City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. June 2 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St., on the second floor in the Council Chambers.
Go to www.DiscoverDixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.