Edwardsville continues road improvement efforts
The city of Edwardsville is hoping to step up its road improvements once again, and with the grant-funded Kansas Avenue project getting underway, it will be a big year for street construction in the city.
After years of only budgeting a scant amount for road repairs, the city has been working since 2012 to build up an annual road improvement program and reduce the number of city roads rated poor or very poor.
Peter Yazbec, public works director, said the city budgeted $125,000 for this year’s road repairs.
“But, with the recent voter-approved sales tax for roads and streets, the amount of work could increase depending on sales tax collections, which have been increasing over the last couple of years,” he said.
The roads that were presented for the 2015 road projects at a recent City Council meeting are Trant and Sixth streets, as well as completing the paving in the Williamsons farm subdivision.
Yazbec said the council asked city staff to evaluate repairs needed Blake Street and 102nd street, so they are preparing a cost assessment for repairing and widening 102nd Street as well as overlaying Blake Street.
The city plans to put the street work out for bid to contractors by the end of March, allowing work to start late spring to early summer.
This is part of the city’s recent efforts to build an annual road repair program, after the city all but did away with road improvements following the 2008 budget crisis, spending only about $50,000 a year on street repairs. In 2012, the city conducted a study of streets to rate their condition and help city staff budget for road repairs and improvements.
Since 2013, Yazbec said the city has spent $410,000 to pave a total of 3.25 road miles. Of that, $72,000 of that was spent to rebuild one intersection in the Edgehill Subdivision.
Yazbec said city staff has focused on paving subdivisions and collectors located in the densely populated areas of the city.
“Those roads are relatively easy paving for our contractors, and have a big impact for our citizens,” he said.
Since 2013, Yazbec said the city has improved its overall street rating from 18 percent of the road system being in excellent condition, to currently having 28 percent excellent condition.
“With the proposed work for 2015 it would raise the excellent rating to 34 percent,” he said. “This in turn lowered our poor and very poor rating from 23 percent in 2013 to currently being at 16 percent.”
With the proposed work for 2015, the percentage of poor and very poor roads would lower to 13 percent.
The city also will be implementing a crack sealing program in 2015 for preventative maintenance on its roads.
“This will preserve both new roads and older roads, giving them a longer life and reducing costly maintenance in the future,” Yazbec said.
The Kansas Avenue improvements from Interstate 435 west to 100th Street also will get underway this year, largely funded through a Mid-America Regional Council grant. The right of way has been cleared, and the utility companies are in the process of relocating utilities, Yazbec said. A June or July bid letting date is planned for the project., with construction beginning in the fall.
Another big project will be the new recreational trail, also funded through a grant, linking Edwardsville City Park to Riverfront Park. Yazbec said construction is set to begin Monday.
“A nice amenity of the trail will be the 100-foot bridge that crosses Betts Creek,” Yazbec said.