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District to get Cobblestone Relief

The cobblestone streets at Laclede’s Landing in St. Louis will be reset, offering relief to drives and pedestrians.
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Drivers on Laclede’s Landing in St. Louis, Mo. will get some relief from the pounding their vehicles take as they bounce along the entertainment district’s decaying cobblestone streets.

Federal money will cover most of the $1.46 million cost of removing cobblestones, rebuilding deteriorated street bases and resetting the “really, really old and really, really hard” pavers, said John Clark, president of the Laclede’s Landing Redevelopment Corp.

“You have to know how to drive down here,” said Nick Pizzo, a deliveryman for Royal Papers. “Cobblestone is not a good thing to wheel on, drive on or walk on.”

AFRAM Corp. and Arcturis are engineering and designing the project, which will include resetting brick sidewalks and redoing intersections with wheelchair curb ramps to more fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The project will cover Second Street between Washington Avenue and Morgan, and First Street between Washington and Lucas Avenue, Clark said. Construction will be put off until after next summer to avoid disrupting the sidewalk seating areas of Second Street bars and restaurants.

Russ Volmert, director of planning at Arcturis, said eliminating the granite cobblestones was never considered during the planning stage.

“Ankle twisters or not, they are a defining characteristic of the neighborhood,” he said.

Most of the work will take place below street level. Officials said the area beneath the streets has groundwater and drainage problems. Clark said a previous engineering study showed that the ‘substrate” ground is mingled with broken glass, railroad ties “and who knows what else.”



Street Modernization Project Moves Forward

Rochester Road in Rochester, Mich. will benefit from a one million-plus streetscape improvement plan that includes work on the street and landscape improvements such as pedestrian benches, new street lights and new sidewalks.


The final piece of funding for a massive redo of Rochester Road in downtown Rochester is in place.

A $523,778 federal grant - combined with a matching amount from the city - will set off a project that will modernize the street, lights and sidewalks while preserving history and enhancing safety, appearance and usefulness.
Rochester Road, the city’s main thoroughfare through downtown, is one of Michigan’s most admired Main Streets.

The million-dollar-plus streetscape project will include new LED street lighting fixtures, pedestrian benches, trash receptacles, reconstructed crosswalks and sidewalks, and more. New street lights and posts with the energy saving bulbs will be replaced along the stretch from Second Street to the Paint Creek Bridge. The old lights, if financially feasible, will go into alleys, says Kristi Trevarrow, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.

During construction, which will begin in April and end in September 2012, it is expected that the original brick-paved Rochester Road will be uncovered. Those bricks will be used to make new planters, not only repurposing what could be waste but adding greenery to the city, says Trevarrow.

In addition, the sidewalks will be restored to their original exposed brick walkways. Crosswalks will be made of stamped concrete that slows cars and have downward facing lighting for pedestrians - both for safety.



Retaining Walls an Integral Part of Street Project

Workers construct a retaining wall beside Helton Drive in Florence, Ala. The work is part of a $4.3 million project that will widen the roadway by adding a fifth lane that will create a turning lane from just south of Cox Creek Parkway to Hermitage Drive.


Construction has spread to the south end of the Helton Drive widening project in Florence, Ala. as contractors build retaining walls between the roadway and nearby apartment buildings.

The $4.3 million project awarded to the Rogers Group began in the spring and is not expected to be completed until next summer, said Alabama Department of Transportation Construction Manager Kevin Evers.

The project involves adding a fifth lane that will create a center turn lane from just south of Cox Creek Parkway to Hermitage Drive where Helton Drive connects to the Singing River Bridge corridor.

The center turn lane is being added in hopes of making travel on Helton Drive safer. Construction of the new lane has been largely completed from just south of Cox Creek Parkway to near Bradshaw Drive.

“That section won’t have any curb and gutter,” Evers said.

Evers said contractors still have landscaping work to do, including adding topsoil and planting grass along the shoulders. Contractors also are working on drainage infrastructure.

Work on a different phase of the project is under way near several apartment complexes on the east side of Helton Drive, between Rickwood Road and Hermitage Drive.

“They’ve started on three of the retaining walls,” Evers said.

He said there will be about 10 feet from the edge of the curb to the retaining walls. Once the retaining walls are completed, Evers said contractors will begin widening the west side of Helton Drive.

Division Engineer James Brown said the main purpose of the retaining walls is to secure the roadbed, not to serve as sound barriers similar to the tall concrete walls built along interstate highways that pass through residential areas.

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December 8, 2019, 7:45 am PDT

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