Caution: Construction ahead in Vermilion County
DANVILLE — Vermilion County residents will see all sorts of construction projects going on in 2012 — from wind turbines, to bike paths, to road reconstruction, to bridge replacements and the long-awaited construction of an overpass to replace the crumbling Fairchild Street subway in Danville.
The projects will cause some inconvenience for motorists, especially those who travel Perrysville Road east of Danville where the Vermilion County Highway Department will be overseeing a bridge repair project that will close the two-lane highway for about two to three months, according to county highway engineer Doug Staske.
He said the deck will be replaced on the bridge that's just east of the Danville city limits and carries Perrysville Road over Stoney Creek. He said it will require closing the road at the bridge, and the closure likely will happen in the summer months.
The county will be busy this year with some other major construction projects as well, according to Staske:
— Henning Road will be reconstructed from U.S. 136 through Henning to Full-Fill Industries on the north side of the village. Staske said that state-funded project is partly being done to accommodate the increase in heavy truck traffic due to the major expansion of Full-Fill Industries. Staske said in addition to rebuilding the Henning Road roadbed, new storm sewers, curbs and gutters will be built as well.
Full-Fill makes aerosol cooking sprays and is undergoing a 25,000-square-foot expansion and more than doubling its workforce as part of an exclusive agreement with ConAgra Foods to produce the company's cooking sprays. The $20 million to $25 million expansion has already boosted the heavy truck traffic that travels Henning Road through the village.
— Repavement of Lyons Road from Georgetown Road to Catlin will continue. Staske said most of the repaving of Lyons Road through the village of Belgium has been completed, and that phase will be finished this year, and the second phase, repaving from Belgium toward Catlin, will begin.
— Construction of Invenergy's 104-turbine wind farm in the west central part of the county continues. Construction started late last year but will shift into full gear this year, said Staske, whose department will be coordinating with the wind farm developers to maintain and upgrade county roads in that area as they are used in construction of the wind turbines.
In the city of Danville, the Fairchild subway project will top the list of major road projects this year:
— Danville City Engineer David Schnelle said it will take two construction seasons to build the overpass that will replace the Fairchild Street subway tunnel that was closed in 2011 for safety reasons.
The almost-century-old tunnel has been deteriorating for years and last year reached a point of deterioration that prompted city officials to close it indefinitely.
Schnelle said the city plans to bid the $20 million project early this year and hopes construction can begin in early summer on the overpass bridge that will raise Fairchild Street and carry traffic and a pedestrian walkway over the approximately six railroad lines and one street that cross Fairchild. He said the project will take two construction seasons and the expected completion date right now is Nov. 30, 2013. He said Fairchild Street will remain closed at the construction site through the entire project.
— Construction is expected to begin in middle to late summer, Schnelle said, on Lincoln Park's 10-foot-wide multi-use path. It will be separate from the street and connect the Danville Family YMCA, Garfield Elementary School, Lincoln Park and Provena United Samaritans Medical Center. In 2006, Danville was awarded a federal grant of $201,000, with a $50,250 city match. The grant was for the development of a bicycle-designated path that would begin on Jackson Street near the YMCA, head west along English Street, pass by Garfield school and Lincoln Park, before heading south on Logan Avenue to Williams Street near the Center for Children's Services. Design work and engineering are done, and documents are ready to put the project out to bid as the city is currently working to acquire right-of-way sections of property along the route.
— The city is entering the final design portion of the next phase of the Bowman Avenue improvement project that extends from Winter Avenue south to Crestview Street. Schnelle said the city is still searching for funding for that phase, which will include repaving Bowman, constructing sidewalks and a multi-use path, similar to the existing path on Winter Avenue and the planned Lincoln Park path.
— Liberty Lane in Danville will undergo an overlay and patching project that will include an upgrade of the railroad crossing on that east-west corridor.
And in Tilton, Mayor David Phillips said engineers are in the final design phase for the improvement of 14th Street, from King Street to the Brickyard Road, which leads to the Brickyard Landfill. The state-funded project that has received Illinois Jobs money is expected to begin this year.
Greg Cook, senior project manager with Foth Engineering in Champaign, said that section is heavily traveled by trucks going to the landfill, and pavement has deteriorated, so this project will reconstruct the pavement and the base underneath as well as build new curbs and gutters. He said there will be some minor improvements to the interchange between Illinois 1 and 14th Street, but the overall configuration will stay the same. He said a turn lane will be added on 14th Street from King Street to Hodge Street to accommodate any future development there.
Phillips said this is the first part of an overall project to improve Illinois 1 through Tilton, including access to 14th Street, 16th Street and other side streets in that area.