Although there is still snow on the ground, local municipalities are preparing for spring and summer road work, so drivers ought to prepare for some detours.
Bryan Faivre, director of utilities and transportation for the City of DeKalb, said there are several projects that have a combined estimated cost of more than $1.3 million. The projects should be out for bid in the next month or two.
The city's priority is to fix the high-traveled roads, such as North Seventth Street, because of the heavy traffic it sees, plus 14th Street and Normal road, because of condition of those roads.
Faivre said the motor fuel tax and the local gas tax will pay for the road improvement projects.
Other planned projects include the resurfacing of North 14th Street from Clark Street to Dresser Road, North 13th Street from Clark Street to Sycamore Road, and Taylor Street from First Street to the bridge that crosses Kishwaukee River at Lions Park that will cost a total estimate of $385,000.
DeKalb County has a couple bridge projects – on McNeal Road and West Motel Road, both of which cross the Kishwaukee River – for a combined approximate $3.1 million this summer that should be done by late fall, said Nathan Schwartz, DeKalb County Highway engineer.
The bridge on McNeal Road is northwest of Kirkland. The replacement for the bridge would cost about $2 million. Schwartz guessed that portion of McNeal Road would be closed from May until November.
The construction on West Motel Road bridge will begin in late May or in June, Schwartz said.
The project, which will close the road, has an expected cost of about $1.1 million, Schwartz said. The road would open in November or December, although he said the construction timeline depends on the weather.
Schwartz said the McNeal Road bridge would cost twice as much as the West Motel Road bridge project, because the Kishwaukee River is much larger at that point.
In addition to the bridge projects, Schwartz said the county will replace a large culvert that sits immediately south of the South 1st St. and Gurler Street intersection. A culvert is used to let water flow underneath a road. Schwartz said that project will cost about "a half million dollars." The area will be closed some time in the summer and open some time in the fall.
The City of Sycamore is also planning on going through about $1,983,000 worth of road construction this summer.
Mark Bushnell, city engineer for the City of Sycamore, said the city is working with a specific timeline, with a goal to have all of the downtown work done by the end of October.
Bushnell said funding for the city's upcoming road construction projects will come through the motor fuel tax and the local sales tax. He said video gaming revenue goes towards concrete removal and replacement.
Bushnell said a project that goes from Route 23 in Genoa until Route 64 – State Street – in Sycamore will impact residents the most. The Illinois Department of Transportation is completing that project. The city is only responsible for the turning lanes and parking spaces.
"The city's portion will be completed as an extension of IDOT's project, as we will receive better pricing and 50% federal funding," he said in an email.
"Our hope is that gets completed first," Bushnell said.
IDOT will also repave Route 64 – from Locust Street to Sacramento Street.
Other roads throughout the city will be milled – removing layers of asphalt so the new asphalt can drain into the curbs. They will also go through an overlay process, which is putting new asphalt on top of old asphalt.
"We need to get everything done before Pumpkin Fest," Bushnell said. "It's our goal to have the roads open, not have barricades on the sidewalks and have the town look as good as it can."