Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Engineering and Architecture
Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC, Main Street Streetscape, Belleville
By KATE GENO
Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC is continuing its partnership with the City of Belleville to revitalize parts of the downtown area. A new $1.8 million project includes the design of a streetscape for the section of Main Street from Sixth Street to 17th Street.
The look will be a continuation of the existing design of Main Street; the only difference being the spacing of the light posts. Improvements include new curbs, black street lamps, widening of sidewalks, and resurfacing the streets. Sidewalk bump-outs for outdoor restaurant seating and dining, and on-street parking will be incorporated into the design.
“Studies have shown that streetscapes benefit cities immensely,” says Todd Reyling of Kaskaskia Engineering Group. “They help revitalize the street and enhance economic development by bringing in new businesses and clientele.”
Factors such as better lighting makes people feel safer, parking is easier and more convenient, and the aesthetically pleasing design attracts residents. The upgraded quality of the area makes people feel that they are taken care of.
The streetscape will also be designed according to Americans with Disabilities’ Act regulations. This will be challenging due to the narrowness of the existing right-of-way and sidewalks, says Reyling. All street intersections will have new detectable warnings and a 4-foot-wide handicap-accessible walkway will be integrated into the sidewalks.
An additional aspect of the project will be the separation of the sanitary and storm sewer system, as mandated by EPA policy. The plans allow for the current system to be used solely for sanitary purposes. A new storm sewer main will accommodate existing surface water runoff.
Kaskaskia Engineering Group was hired by the City of Belleville to perform all the civil engineering duties such as preliminary engineering services, design services, and combined sewer separation design services. The engineering and design is expected to be complete within 18 months.
Kaskaskia engineers were involved in due diligence on the project from the beginning. They talked to business owners along Main Street, coordinated ADA accessibility details, and accounted for the underground vaults that will be filled in to maintain safety. They are currently surveying the entire project.
The next steps, according to Reyling, are preliminary design to lay out the new sidewalks and streetlights and the initiation of design services. Construction is estimated to begin in 2016.
Kaskaskia Engineering Group provided the engineering services for the Belleville Square streetscape that earned a special achievement award from ACEC-Illinois at the 2010 Engineering Excellence Awards.