Rockford's Independent Newspaper

City to consider engineering agreement for Kishwaukee Street rehab project

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — Rockford aldermen are preparing to consider an engineering agreement for a project that would resurface a stretch of Kishwaukee Street near the Chicago Rockford International Airport.

If aldermen approve the agreement, the city would pay Crawford, Murphy & Tilly (CMT) a design engineering fee of $117,334.80 as part of the construction project that includes the resurfacing Kishwaukee from Airport Drive to Sandy Hollow Road.

Resurfacing would include sidewalk repairs and convert the existing under-utilized four-lane section into a two-lane section with a two-way left-turn lane.

The project was adopted as part of the 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that was before City Council in January.

According to the agreement with CMT, the firm’s work would begin March 1 and be completed by Sept. 30.

The three-phase plan will include data collection and inventory of traffic signal poles and existing wiring. CMT will survey existing electric, natural gas pipelines and telecommunication cables in the first phase.

The firm’s work will include site visits, aerial images of the street, reviews of parking and lane configuration.

The project is part of the city’s Kishwaukee Street Corridor Revitalization Plan created under former Mayor Larry Morrissey in 2009. It was designed to establish a link between downtown Rockford to the airport by a 4.3-mile stretch of road.

City officials chose Kishwaukee Street because it includes large- and small-scale industrial uses, retail and commercial service businesses, and multi-family and single-family neighborhoods.

Projects to rehab the Kishwaukee Street area have been slow-moving over the years, mostly because of the Great Recession, Rockford’s foreclosure boom and the State of Illinois budget crisis.

Finishing touches on a stretch of Kishwaukee near Harrison Avenue were stalled in 2009 because of a revenue shortage from the sales tax fund. Striping wasn’t immediately installed which had some drivers unsure of which lanes they were in. The problem has since been remedied.

The CIP is funded in part via a 1 percent sales tax in Rockford, which was recertified at the ballot box in Nov. 2015. The so-called “Pave The Way” tax has generated more than $140 million in local revenues for infrastructure repairs and maintenance in the city. R.

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