South Diamond Renovation Project Pushed to Spring 2023

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 14, 2022 at 11:25am

A project slated to improve a well-traveled stretch of road in the Village of South Jacksonville is won’t see a shovel break ground until 2023.

Superintendent of Utilities for the South Jacksonville, John Green updated the Board of Trustees last night on the status of the South Diamond Street renovation project.

Green says the extensive plans for the road are coming along, however, they won’t be lined up with State of Illinois processes to allow for it to start this year.

We’re going to redo the intersection at Greenwood and South Diamond, and then we are going to go all the way north to Michigan and a little bit into that intersection, and put storm drains, curbing and gutter on one side of the road.

The preliminary engineering is done and the plans are drawn up. But because of the way it is falling for putting out through the letting process, it’s going to be mid-summer. So by the time that gets bids out and somebody gets a notice to proceed, it’s going to be a year-long project and we don’t want to start it in the fall and have it torn up through the winter months. So we will get all that done, get the bidding process and everything else done this fall, so it will be a 2023 project.”

Green says moving the project to the spring means that whomever the company is that is awarded the bid, can hit the ground running next spring and avoid having the street torn up during the winter months.

Green says the project engineer has offered to have a town hall meeting so that anyone living along the area to be rehabilitated can attend to see firsthand how the project will go and ask any questions they may have.

Also announced to the board last night is a plan to revive cleaning the village’s ditches of leaves during the year. Green says the leaf vacuum is already on hand and just needs some work.

We built a leaf vacuum years ago and we just kind of got away from it. They are a hassle but they work good, so we are going to get it back out and try and get it revamped. It’s not something that we can do every day but it’s something that we can do to provide a little more maintenance for the ditches.”

Village President Dick Samples says the Village is looking into the purchase of a pre-owned one-ton truck that could be used to pull the leaf vacuum, but that could also be used for plowing snow and other duties year-round for the street department.

Green says income the village made from selling three pick-up trucks in the rotation program last year, and the increased retail values they sold for, will nearly cover the full cost of acquiring the truck which is already equipped with a snowplow and dump bed.

He says he is also continuing to look for a vac-trailer for the village which is used to jet water and then vacuum the loose soil away in areas where the street department needs to excavate but cannot use standard digging equipment.

Green says in areas such as the newly installed fiber-optic lines, digging with a backhoe won’t work. He says the Village has relied on the City of Jacksonville to assist with its equipment, however, he would like to not wear out the Village’s welcome. He says funding for the vac-trailer is already a line item in the current budget, and he is waiting on a suitable unit to come available.

The Village will hold a Public Information Meeting on the South Diamond project on Thursday, February 3rd. Jim Burke with Hutchison Engineering will be on hand to answer any questions the public may have on the project. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm prior to the regular February meeting of the Board of Trustees at the Village Hall.