Several Construction Projects Slated For Jamestown Area
Ongoing work on Fourth Street in Jamestown should be completed by the end of May.
As if anyone driving through Jamestown hadn’t realized it already, the project is included on Mayor Sam Teresi’s list of 2018 road construction projects. The whole list appears in today’s edition of The Post-Journal on Page B4.
With the South Main Street bridge still under construction, having Fourth Street reopened to traffic will make life much easier for motorists.
“The Fourth Street project is well under way,” Teresi said Friday. “Curbs have been laid. The next phase is the pouring of sidewalks and the paving work. The goal is to have that done by the time of the Memorial Day parade.”
As work on Fourth Street wraps up, drivers should be aware that Second Street from Washington to Lafayette streets will close so construction can begin on the Second Street piazza project. The $700,000 public piazza project will convert part of Second Street into an urban public square with a pedestrian-friendly feel while maintaining multimodal function. It is designed to improve walkability and connectivity to the National Comedy Center, Northwest Arena and the Chadakoin River.
The project has received $140,000 through the Regional Economic Development Council program, with the local match of $560,000 paid by the Gebbie Foundation and various local foundations. The project will improve the aesthetics of the area by adding lighting, trees and installing an overhead canopy. This area of the city will be closed to vehicle traffic during events at Northwest Arena or the National Comedy Center. When there is no event, the street would be open to vehicle traffic.
“The Second Street piazza project we opened up and awarded bids Monday night for the brick paver work,” Teresi said. “I think we’re opening bids today on the electric lighting portion of it and contracts will be awarded by the City Council at its next meeting. We’ll probably start seeing the road closed toward the end of the month or the first of June and should have everything ready to go and the street reopened toward the end of July for the opening of the Comedy Center.”
City residents who spend time in Allen Park will notice work continuing to stabilize the Allen Park glen. Teresi said this is the third year for the project, which is being done by city Public Works employees and paid for through a municipal bond project the city took out a few years ago.
Crews are also working to stabilize concrete bridges that go over culverts and depressions in the area and doing concrete work on the stairs that lead down to the creek area.
“We’re going in with rip-rap and other landscaping and excavating out of there trying to stabilize the banks that lead down to the creek that runs through the park,” the mayor said. “There’s been a lot of erosion and deterioration there over the years. It’s an effort of the Parks Department to go in and stabilize that and slow that natural erosion and filling process that has been happening. We’re also doing some cleanup work down there that makes it easier for walkers and hikers to walk through and enjoy the natural beauty that is there.”
Another project will take place after a donation by Dr. Charles Sinatra, who has given money to recondition the John S. Sinatra Memorial Soap Box Derby Track outside Russell E. Diethrick Park. The city’s annual Soap Box Derby used to take place on Baker Street near Bergman Park when the event was resurrected in the 1980s. The Sinatra family helped pay for the track near Diethrick Park, but the track needs some work. Work is expected to be completed in time for this year’s Soap Box Derby.
“It’s getting a little long in the tooth. DPW and the Parks Department received a donation from Dr. Charles Sinatra. His father was a former physician in town that has been a longtime benefactor and patron of the Soap Box Derby. (Dr. Charles Sinatra) donated a major amount of money to build the track down at Diethrick Park and has been a supporter of the Soap Box Derby and has given a contribution now toward the updating of the track. There will be some milling work, some paving work and sealer provided over it to continue to make it smooth and safe for participants next month.”
Overall, the 2018 road construction schedule includes more than 100 projects totaling several million dollars in value, paid mostly with Consolidated Highway Improvement Program money from the state. Teresi credited County Executive George Borrello and George Spanos, county public facilities director, with an aggressive county reinvestment on county-owned roads in the city and for working with the city to help the county projects dovetail with ongoing city projects. The list also includes the ongoing South Main Street bridge replacement project. The bridge has had issues for the past four years, starting in the summer of 2014 when stones from the bridge fell into the Chadakoin River, leading to the sidewalk being closed on the west side of the bridge. In October 2014, Spanos told the County Legislature’s Public Facilities Committee that a biannual inspection of the bridge revealed water had penetrated the top of the arch under the bridge, which in turn softened the grout and stone.
County officials then scheduled the bridge for maintenance, but the project’s cost has increased from $4,010,000 to $4,243,988. The federal government is funding 80 percent of the project, and county officials anticipate state officials will reimburse the county for 75 percent of the non-federally funded part of the project.
“They have some major mill and overlay projects in the city and we thank them for stepping up and doing the Main Street bridge,” Teresi said. “We know it was an inconvenience, but it needed to be done. It could have been a public safety issue. If it had to be posted and closed, the temporary inconvenience we are experiencing now could have been years on end. A tip of our hat to the county for getting state money for that and then appropriating county money as well. The county could have wait-listed it or waited for a major problem, but they took it on. We’re very appreciative of that.”
Projects on the city’s list are broken down into five categories: major reconstruction projects, mill and overlay projects, Nova Chip projects, repair and chip seal projects, repair and slurry seal projects. Teresi described the city’s approach with the mix of projects as a way to extend the life of each road as long as possible to prevent reconstructions, which cost the most money. Mill and overlay projects are used when the underpinnings of a road are sound but the surface needs to be repaired. Nova Chip treatment can further extend the life of a road for between eight and nine years, with the slurry seal used when the Nova Chip begins to wear out. Chip seal is used on less-traveled streets and unconstructed streets.
“We’re trying to maintain the roads as long as we can so that we don’t have to go in and do major costly reconstructions,” Teresi said. “This is a multifaceted program to manage the life of the roads to get the biggest value of our money and to extend their lives so we’re not having to do total reconstruction jobs prematurely.”