Downtown construction projects in full swing

Published 3:20 pm Thursday, May 27, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The combined sewer overflow (CSO) project is currently tearing up the streets of downtown Niles and with more construction slated for the rest of the summer, it is only going to get worse.
The streetscape project and a federally-funded street improvement project will also cause some major traffic disruption in the City of Niles this summer.
Before construction started for the CSO project in late April, tentative completion dates were set for July 23 for the underground work and August 20 for all of the work, which includes repaving the roads.
Coulston indicated crews were quite a bit ahead of that schedule, but said it was hard to say exactly when the project would be completed.
On Wednesday morning, construction crews were putting together the large storm drain system in the deep ditch along Sycamore Street.
Second Street is also closed from Main to Sycamore for the next few days.
Assistant Public Works Director Joe Ray said the construction will also be completely closing Third and Fourth Streets between Main and Sycamore in the near future, but only for a few days at a time.
The recent rash of bad weather and unknown underground utilities such as abandoned gas and water mains, are a few of the setbacks that have extended the timeline of the project so far.
The CSO project, which is being done by Harglo Construction, will conclude at Fourth Street.
Construction crews have been doing everything they can to keep the businesses along the these streets accessible.
Within the next few days, the crews will begin to resurface Front Street by putting down seven and half inches of asphalt. This is just a rough base layer of asphalt, which all of the streets will receive when the underground work is complete.
The roads will be fully accessible when they receive this base layer, but the final inch and half of resurfacing will not occur until late July or early August.
The Niles City Council approved a bid for the streetscape project from Pioneer &Associates at Monday's meeting.
Coulston said he would not know an exact starting date for streetscape construction until after Wednesday's pre-construction meeting, but he estimated it would begin within the next few weeks with a possibility of some overlap between the CSO and streetscape projects.
The streetscape project will begin at Sycamore and Front Streets and then continue up Main Street to Fourth Street.
The final construction project that will affect the City of Niles this summer is the federally funded street improvement project.
This $465,000 project will cover 2.4 miles of road and includes cold-milling, resurfacing, handicap ramps at intersections and other related work. The project will be going out to bid soon and work is expected to be completed by late October.
The following streets are scheduled for improvements:
Coulston said the one positive thing to come out of this construction filled summer is that all of these projects are being done at one time, instead of spreading them out over a long period of time.