Construction season starts in Joliet
By Bob Okon email@example.com April 23, 2013 6:55PM
Updated: May 25, 2013 6:26AM
Spring weather may be late, but the construction season arrived in Joliet this week.
The city reduced lanes on West Jefferson Street and closed a section of Chicago Street downtown for two projects. Not road projects, but water and sewer projects.
The work started Monday and is expected to last six more weeks on Jefferson Street and three weeks downtown.
Once the city is done with its section of Jefferson Street, however, the state will be about ready to start a resurfacing project that could run into August. The state also plans a resurfacing project downtown this summer.
The city has reduced Jefferson Street traffic to one lane in each direction between 129th Infantry Drive and Barney Drive to replace a water main that runs under the street. After that, the section of road will have to be repaved.
“Once we’re done with the main installation of the water main, we’ll try to open up more lanes if possible,” said James Eggen, the city’s utilities director.
He did not have an estimate on when that might be, however. Eggen said the city will replace the water main in phases and do some work during off hours to reduce the impact on customers using the line.
The state, meanwhile, plans to begin resurfacing Jefferson Street from Joyce Road, just east of the city project, to Raynor Avenue. That work is expected to begin in June or July, which means the city project should be done before the state starts its work.
The state also plans to do resurfacing work on Scott Street downtown. That work also should start after the city is done with the sewer project that started Monday.
The city closed down Chicago Street from Cass to Webster streets to replace a sanitary sewer line said to be 100 years old.
Eggen said the sewer already demands a lot of maintenance, and the city wants it improved before Joliet Junior College builds its new culinary arts campus downtown.
“With the anticipated flow from the new culinary school, we wanted to make sure we had a more modern facility there,” he said.
The state, meanwhile, plans to resurface Scott Street downtown at about the same time it begins the Jefferson Street project. That job also is expected to start in June and July and last into August, said a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.