The East Main Street underpass in Galesburg will contain many of the same aesthetic features as the recently completed overpass on West Main Street.
City Engineer Wayne Carl said the underpass will have textured concrete walls, black railings, and the same style lighting. There will be sidewalks on both sides of the street, and a four-foot wide section set aside for bicyclists.
Residents got a look at plans for the overpass during an open house public meeting this week.
“We’re getting the expected comments where people just want to know more about the project and their property,” Carl said during the meeting.
He said residents can continue offering input by contacting him on the city’s website.
“Obviously, the earlier people provide comments the better it is for us to incorporate into the design,” Carl said.
“Right now we’re real early in the design so it’s pretty easy to accommodate changes. As we move along the next few months, it will get a bit more difficult to make changes.”
Carl said the total cost of the project is estimated to be $16 million. Almost all of the funding will come from the state.
He said an underpass is being built on East Main because an overpass would end up stretching too far down Main.
“We would have to go clear past Seminary Street, probably into mid-block between Kellogg and Seminary, to touch down on an overpass. The cost would be a lot more. The damages would be a lot more to all the businesses downtown. So it’s not really practical to do anything other than an underpass.”
Carl said the city will begin working to acquire properties for the right-of-way toward the end of this year. He hoped construction will begin in September, 2014, and that the underpass will open to traffic by the end of 2015.
He said the same design features will also go into the North Seminary St overpass. Construction on North Seminary is expected to begin in September. He hoped it could be opened to traffic before the end of 2014.
The overpasses and the underpass will allow traffic to flow more easily through town and will allow emergency vehicles to get around without being delayed by trains.
In addition, trains will be able to move through town without having to blow their horns as often.