Good news for Sixth Street merchants and customers: The reconstruction work is on schedule -- maybe even a bit ahead -- and construction of new sidewalks could begin as early as Friday. Weather permitting!
Goodbye to sheets of plywood and steel underfoot.
As sanitary sewer and water work is completed between Monument Square and Park Avenue, sidewalk work will start in the 200 block of Sixth, and then continue into the 300 block through April 18. New sidewalks for the 400 block should begin on April 22.
Although some of the roadway itself looks ready for repaving, that work is also weather-driven, and will have to wait for a while: Asphalt plants, needing warmer temperatures, typically don't open for the construction season until the last week of April or the first week of May.
This news, especially good for those merchants at the east end of the Sixth Street reconstruction project, comes from the latest construction update newsletter, sent by Kris Martinsek of Martinsek & Associates.
Kris emphasizes that this optimistic schedule depends upon "no surprises and cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain or snow." Gas work will continue through April 18, assuming that all sanitary sewer, sanitary laterals, water main and water laterals have been completed. At present, water lateral work is scheduled for the north and south sides of the street from April 7 through April 11.
The 300 block may also start getting new sidewalks April 11 with restoration ongoing through April 18. Crews have to complete one sewer lateral to Porters, scheduled on Wednesday, and several water laterals on the north and south sides of the street this week to keep to this schedule.
The schedule calls for sanitary laterals on the south side of Sixth to be completed by Thursday and on the north side between April 15 and April 22. Replacement of water laterals could begin sometime the week of April 12 and continue through April 22.
Of course, once this is done, the construction moves farther west for its second phase, doing the section of Sixth Street from Park to Grand Avenue. Final completion date for this year's work is July 3.
The newsletter says Globe Contractors is making good progress toward the completion of the Phase 1 sewer and water main replacements by May 5. The only surprises so far -- "normal when contractors dig 14-ft. deep trenches and excavate aging sewer and water systems," says Kris -- have been damage to an unmarked power line, which caused an interruption in service to Uncorkt during one day; discovery of some roof drains tied into the sanitary sewer system rather than the storm system; and a completely rotted sewer lateral was found in the 400 block, quickly replaced with new PVC pipe by the store owner's plumber.
The total project, reconstruction of one-third of a mile of Sixth Street, from Monument Square to Grand Avenue, and from store front to store front including removal and replacement of all pavement, curb and gutter, and sidewalks, has a total cost of $3.09 million. This year's project involves the replacement of utility lines that are nearly 100 years old and well beyond their service lives -- including some wooden water pipes. The roadway improvement part of the project won't take place until 2009.