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home : coal city courant : coal city courant April 30, 2016

7/29/2014 9:05:00 PM
Ready for a change
Coal City to seek federal funds for Broadway improvements
THE VILLAGE OF Coal City will petition the Will County Governmental League for $2 million in federal Surface Transportation Program funds to reconstruct South Broadway from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail crossing north to Division Street.
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THE VILLAGE OF Coal City will petition the Will County Governmental League for $2 million in federal Surface Transportation Program funds to reconstruct South Broadway from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail crossing north to Division Street.
Ann Gill
Editor

The village of Coal City is ready to change the look of Broadway, but it could take a few years for the plan to take shape.

Town officials will petition the Will County Governmental League for $2 million in federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds to cover a portion of the costs of reconstructing South Broadway between Division Street and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks.

"The hope would be Coal City's plan earns high points in the application process and could be scheduled for funding in 2018," said Village Administrator Matt Fritz.

This is the village's first request for funding through the program that awards up to $2 million for eligible road projects.

Three months ago village trustees were presented with results of a Phase I engineering study that focused on future improvements to South Broadway from Division Street to Spring Road. The cost of the improvements has been estimated at more than $5.3 million, a figure that far exceeds the funding cap for matching federal dollars. In order to maximize funding assistance the Village Board has decided to narrow its focus to the north half of the roadway, at least for now.

"This portion of the project is estimated at approximately $2.2 million in construction expenses, which will require $600,000 to be set aside to earn the federal dollars," Fritz said, explaining the figure accounts for the 20 percent match plus the $200,000 overage.

Currently the village does not have the matching dollars available, nor is it included in the town budget. Since the earliest the project could be funded through STP is 2018, Fritz said the village has some time to get the matching dollars in place. This could be accomplished through the village budget, from tax increment financing (TIF) funds or a combination of both.

In the event the project is funded through STP, Fritz said the governmental league's transportation committee can push back the project if the funding or construction plan is not in place.

As outlined in the engineering study, the project includes the widening of the roadway and installation of turn lanes at key intersections, including Oak Street.

Additionally, it calls for reconfigured parking, drainage upgrades, landscaping and a quiet zone crossing.

Unhappy with the parking design included in the plan, Trustee Georgette Vota voted against a resolution supporting the project.

The engineering study was funded through a federal grant managed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and conducted in conjunction with the development of a new comprehensive plan for the village.





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