A large section of Lakeview Avenue is scheduled for a facelift over the coming months.
The second portion of the project, which was started last year, will renovate Lakeview Avenue between Newton Avenue and Crossman Street.
"We were slated to begin last week," said Jeff Lehman, director of public works. "Mother nature didn't quite cooperate, but we have already been out to start on some work on storm sewers in the area. The BPU has been out in the area working on installing new telephone poles, as well, and Dan Stone, the city arborist, has been out to check on the trees."
Crews expect to begin work along Lakeview Avenue next week.
P-J photos by Ryan Atkins
According to Stone, there are also plans for a flower garden to be built at the corner of Newton and Lakeview.
"What we're looking to do there is create a triangle-shaped planting bed. Right now in a nursery I have a milky way dogwood tree that will go in the center in a raised bed. We're thinking some ornamental grasses to circle that, then we'll use some bulb plants, like tulips, to give it a splash of color at different times throughout the year. I've been working to secure a grant for that, too."
Just as they did last year, construction crews will be moving the curbs out one foot on each side, which will give area residents more terrace space than they had previously.
"As a homeowner that lives in the first section that we did last year, it really worked out nicely with the extra space," said Lehman.
Lehman is hopeful that the construction will begin as early as next week, with crews starting on the Newton Avenue end, where they will begin digging out the street. A second crew will be working on more storm sewer extensions to help with any drainage issues, as well.
"The good news is that even though we're getting a late start this year, the water department got about two-thirds of their water lines installed last year, so we're ahead of the game on that," said Lehman. "That's something that the folks that lived in the section that was done last year will tell you takes a lot of time. The workers had to put completely new main lines in, then run house connections, as well."
The construction this summer will also involve the installation of new halogen street lights to match the ones that were installed last summer. There are also some of the new halogen lights already in place between Newton Avenue and Van Buren Street, where the BPU began the pilot program for the new lighting. According to Dave Leathers, executive director of the BPU, crews may install the new lights extending for the remainder of the street.
"As far as disrupting the lives of people living in that area, just be prepared," said Lehman. "We're probably looking at construction through August before the road is actually completed. We will work with residents to maintain as much access to their properties as we can. One thing that I tell residents is to talk to the workers in the area. If they have certain needs, we'll do our best to coordinate getting access to the homes."
According to Lehman, his team has already begun working with area homeowners to help them out in any way possible with this project.
"If there's something specific that the residents want done, we'll note it and then see what we can do to accommodate them. We'll see if we can tweak our plans to make it work."
During the construction process, Lakeview Avenue residents may have to park on side streets. According to Lehman, the process could take up to eight weeks, but crews will try to get gravel laid down as quickly as possible in order to make the street available for residents.
"Any time, call our office or call me," said Lehman. "We're pretty easy to get ahold of. We want to make this as easy as possible because we realize it's an inconvenience. Having gone through it myself, let me tell you, it's a pain in the neck. Once it's done, though, it's fantastic."
For more information about the project, call Jeff Lehman at 483-7545.