Final public hearing for Vermilion Street project set Tuesday
DANVILLE — The public will have a final opportunity Tuesday to make comments to city officials about the rehabilitation of a section of Vermilion Street near downtown that will include a resurfacing of the pavement, wider driving lanes, accommodations for bicycles and a middle turn lane in some spots.
The public hearing for the Vermilion Street Rehabilitation project will be held during the city council's meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at the municipal building, 17 W. Main St.
The rehabilitation project includes resurfacing Vermilion from Fairchild Street to Harrison Street, but it will not be widened to accommodate the changes. Instead, the existing space from curb to curb will be reconfigured.
The city held a hearing last month that allowed the public to review the plans and make comments, and City Engineer David Schnelle said revisions have been made to the proposal based on those comments.
Those revisions include maintaining on-street parking on both sides of Vermilion in front of the federal courthouse and making some minor lane-width adjustments at its intersection with Seminary Street.
Schnelle said public comments can again be made Tuesday and written comment forms will also be available. He said any comments received Tuesday will also be considered in the final plan.
Currently, the driving lanes on Vermilion from Fairchild to Harrison are too narrow, Schnelle said — only about 9 feet wide — because space for on-street parking is allowed throughout the project area.
Under the new plan, on-street parking will be allowed only in certain spots, providing additional space to increase the driving lanes to at least 10.5 feet and 12 feet at most.
There will be 5-foot-wide bike lanes added on both sides of Vermilion throughout the project area, except in front of the federal courthouse. Maintaining the on-street parking there, Schnelle said, means the bike lanes will have to merge with the driving lanes in that block, but that will be consistent with the remaining two blocks of Vermilion Street through the downtown business sector.
Other new additions in this project include a landscaped median from Harrison in front of the federal courthouse to Seminary, and a center turn land from Seminary to the next intersection at Williams Street.
Schnelle said the landscaped median will also include street lighting.
He said this project will be done this construction season, and the city may bid it in phases with sidewalk and curb work done separately from the pavement portion of the project.
If you go
A public hearing to gather any additional public comments on the Vermilion Street Rehabilitation project will be held at Tuesday's Danville City Council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St., Danville.
Also on the meeting agenda is an initial presentation of the proposed city budget for the upcoming 2013-2014 fiscal year, which begins May 1. The city council will be working to finalize a budget prior to May 1, and city administration officials have said that personnel cuts will be necessary to approve a balanced spending plan.
Plans for the Vermilion Street Rehabilitation project can be viewed on the public works' website at www.danvillepublicworks.org/vermilion-rehabilitation.html.