Officials in Joliet are taking steps to curve traffic patterns in the city along the intersection of Caton Farm and Essington Road.
At the Jan. 5 meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to approve a series of resolutions giving the city the go ahead to enter into the next phase of the construction effort. Council members Jim McFarland and Bettye Gavin were absent from the meeting.
The city has noted traffic patterns and issues that start at the intersection at Caton Farm and Essington Road over the years, so officials hope that construction will resolve the matter.
“You look at a number of factors,” said Jim Hock, city manager. “We have a traffic engineer on staff and so you look at it traffic volumes at different times of year, traffic flow and where it backs up, left hand turns, accident information, and timing of the lights, and so forth, to in essence qualify for those state and federal dollars.”
Should the project get underway and ground is broken, it is expected that traffic will need to be redirected at the intersection of Caton Farm and Essington Road from west to east between Cosmic Drive and June Street, and north to south between Biltmore Street and Canton Farm Road.
Hock said left hand turn lanes will be pushed back so there will be a longer waiting line for making turns and then, the city will introduce designated right hand turn lanes, as well.
Officials have retained the city’s partnership with Civil Engineering for the Phase III Engineering for the project and at their request, Santacruz Associates will remain involved, negotiating with property owners and completing the acquisition documents.
In order to complete the improvements, the city needed to acquire the right of way for 3 properties and convey a temporary easement, or settlement payment, for the owner’s purchase price.
Prior to voting on the matter, councilman Michael Turk pointed out that an issue had arisen while working with one of the parcels to settle upon an agreement.
Hock said it was not an issue any longer, saying that lawyers were able to resolve everything after holding a meeting.
“We’re negotiating with each individual owner as to the value based on if they’ve got parking or green space,” Hock said. “It’s a different value for each parcel.”
Officials in Joliet are expected to fund the project, in which is estimated to cost $1.8 million, by using monies allocated through the city’s motor fuel tax fund, federal road funds and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Hock said it is hoped the community sees the benefit of the project in the long run, but realizes it may cause some irritation.
“It will cause a lot of congestion because we’re also doing the bridge between Essington and Route 59 at the same time. Each side is going to narrow from two lanes down to one lane both directions and with the intersection, there will a lot of people choosing alternative routes.”
City officials will provide further information for the public on how to get around Joliet when plans for roadwork are finalized.
A majority of the improvements are expected to be completed toward the end of the year.
Joliet to enter into local paratransit program, seeks grant funding
Officials in Joliet agreed to authorize the city manager to enter into a local share agreement with PACE, the suburban bus division of the regional transportation authority, after participating in the program for a number of years.
The initiative allows individuals, utilizing resources provided through the department of human services for seniors and persons with disabilities, to have access to curb-curb bus transportation.
The program is funded in part by PACE and the many municipalities that are served, based on an agreed upon formula. Joliet will fund the city’s portion, which is valued at about $142,581, by using monies from the 2016 budget and the local share of the Title XX Grant.
City acquires property for expansion of East Side Sewer Treatment Plant
The Joliet City Council also motioned to approve the purchase of two vacant lots, which will be impacted by the construction of the East Side Relief Sewer.
The acquisition comes in part because of the East Side Sewer Treatment Plant that coincides with the construction of a Combined Sewer Overflow Elimination Project. The vacant lots are considered surplus by Will County, allowing them to be sold for back taxes.
The city will retain rights to the lots, given the sale is completed at the total purchase price of $1,295.50.
Joliet awards bid contract for Well 11D rehabilitation project
The city council voted to authorize a bid contract for rehabilitation of Well 11D, in which is located at the intersection of Ingalls Avenue and Gael Drive in Joliet.
The project would see a bid opening held on Nov. 17. Although three bids were received, staff determined that a rebid was necessary.
On Dec. 17, the contract was awarded to Great Lakes Water Resources Group in Joliet, given that funds are charged to the 2016 Water and Sewer Improvement Fund.