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Lockport’s $50M capital improvement plan underway

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:47 p.m. CST

LOCKPORT – Many projects in an almost $50 million capital improvement plan for Lockport are underway.

Last week, city council members approved a plan to complete between 80 to 90 projects over the next six years using existing revenues sources and grants. The plan calls for fixing bridges, sidewalks, roads and water mains in Lockport.

Some projects are almost complete and the engineering phase of many projects have already begun. For the next several years, city officials plan to spend the majority of the engineering costs for projects in the capital improvement plan.

The capital improvement plan is meant to be a fluid document that can change when unforeseen events occur, City Administrator Ben Benson said.

“That’s why it’s so important to pre-engineer a lot of these. That’ll just give us a lot of shovel-ready projects that we can pull out and insert,” he said. 

Some of the projects in the preliminary engineering phase for construction in 2016 and 2017 include the Second street bridge replacement, the installation of traffic signals at the Division Street and Gougar Road intersection, and street repairs and resurfacing of MacGregor Road and North Street.

Two projects scheduled to begin this month include the Kelvin Grove sidewalk and Garfield Street reconstruction projects. 

The Fourth Street reconstruction project was scheduled to begin this year but was delayed because costs increased for reconstruction projects on 10th, Jefferson and Whelan streets.

City officials expected the Division Street bridge project to finish Aug. 20, but it was delayed by issues such as pile obstruction and water main installation problems.

Amy Wagner, city engineering director, said having engineering done will make it easier to get grants as they become available. During the economic downturn in 2009, the federal government had grants available for city projects that were ready for construction, she said. 

“If we do have additional money or grant money available, we have projects ready to go,” she said. 

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