EDWARDSVILLE — At a public meeting Thursday at Edwardsville City Hall, assistant city engineer David Sirko laid out a huge map that sprawled over two tables.
The map includes plans for reconstructing a half-mile portion of South Buchanan Street (Illinois 159). The project will take about a year and a half to finish.
“It’s a big project,” Sirko said.
Sirko said the city started the planning process last year.
“We had a lot of issues with the actual condition of the road,” he said. “We had a lot of major patching projects we’ve been having to do with our in-house couriers going through. After investigation, there were multiple previous road surfaces underneath the existing surface that are causing the deterioration.”
Sirko said underground work on the street will begin later this month. A new water main system and a new storm sewer system will be added.
“There will be four road construction phases after the water and sewer,” Sirko said. “There will be underground work first to get that out of the way. During that time, two-way traffic will be maintained. We just won’t have a center turn lane. Traffic will be able to get through the majority of the time, except when we’re doing crossing. We may have flaggers where we have these sewer (and) water main crossings.”
Construction will begin between Vandalia and Schwarz streets. The project will end near the Madison County Transit bus stop.
Sirko said he hopes the project will be completed in November 2017.
“During each phase of construction, contractors are permitted to fully close Buchanan for three weeks or 21 calendar days to remove the road, dig out all of the excess base, put the new rock base in and install the new pavement and curb,” Sirko said. “During that time, people won’t be able to access it at all. But there is a limited time frame for each phase. After that, it will be open to two-way traffic.”
Businesses on South Buchanan include Swing City Music, Annie’s Custard, Jack In The Box, Dairy Queen, BP Gas Station and Auto Zone.
“A majority of the people understand the need for it,” said Sirko, who has been working as assistant city engineer for three years. “They’re not happy, but we’re trying to be least inconvenient as we can. That’s where the three-week timeframe came in. We’ll try to keep as much traffic on the road as much as we can for long as we can.”