City of Lockport Downtown Streetscape Project Wins APWA Southwest Branch Project of the Year Award

February 5, 2020

V3’s Lockport Downtown Streetscape Project was selected to receive the Project of the Year Award in the category: Transportation ($5 Million, but less than $25 Million) for the Southwest APWA Branch. 

V3 Companies (V3) and subconsultant Teska Associates developed alternative streetscape designs to improve the aesthetics of downtown Lockport and enhance its vitality. This project was built upon V3’s previous downtown master plan work and preliminary streetscape guidelines developed by the City’s Downtown Development Commission (DDC). This project was an outgrowth of an intersection improvement being performed by IDOT and gave the City a unique opportunity to expedite the implementation of desired streetscape enhancements. A portion of the streetscape improvements were constructed in coordination with IDOT’s intersection improvement project. D Construction performed the construction and Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. (CBBEL) provided Phase 3 engineering with V3 as a subconsultant. Coordination between CBBEL, V3 and Teska, and IDOT was of utmost importance to the City, ensuring that both contracts were efficiently completed given the challenges that come with simultaneous implementation of two contracts let by separate entities. Total Cost – $5.7M.

PROJECT DETAILS

This comprehensive project consisted of integrating multiple contracts led by multiple design teams to improve aesthetics and enhance the vitality of historic downtown Lockport, while minimizing impacts to the public. This project was an outgrowth of IDOT’s initial intersection improvements at IL-171 (State Street) and IL-7 (9th Street).

IDOT’s contract is an intersection improvement including widening and resurfacing to add left-turn lanes on State Street at 9th Street in the City of Lockport. Extensive coordination was necessary between IDOT and the City to integrate their desired improvements. The City held a separate contract with Strand to prepare plans for water main replacement. Strand was instrumental incorporating their water main plans into IDOT’s contract prior to IDOT’s letting. Additionally, IDOT coordinated closely with V3 to identify gravity walls and enclosed sidewalk vaults along businesses within the project limits since V3 conducted sidewalk vault inspections and filling/repairs for the City back in 2011. The intersection improvement was constructed by D Construction, Inc. This intersection handles a high volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the busy downtown area. It is also the heart of a well-preserved Historic District recognizing the important role the City of Lockport played during the construction and operation of the I&M Canal.

The City of Lockport recognized the opportunity the IDOT contract presented and chose to issue an overlapping locally-funded streetscape contract to run concurrently. V3 Companies, along with their sub-consultant Teska Associates, were selected to develop alternative streetscape designs to improve the aesthetics of downtown Lockport. This project was built upon V3’s previous downtown master plan work and also the preliminary streetscape guidelines developed by the City’s Downtown Development Commission (DDC). The project team developed two alternative streetscape designs along with optional festival streetscape enhancements on select streets. The City, in coordination with the DDC, selected a preferred alternative and identified a budget for proposed improvements throughout the downtown. A portion of the streetscape improvements (State Street, from 8th Street to 10th Street) were constructed in coordination with IDOT’s State Street and 9th Street intersection improvement project. V3 also identified funding options for these types of improvements and helped the City, on a pro bono basis, to prepare the necessary application materials for the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant. Significant challenges included the development of a concept that stakeholders would support, the development of high-quality improvements that could be implemented within the limit funds available to the City, and facilitating the advancement of construction documents necessary to install the streetscape improvements in coordination with IDOT’s State Street and 9th Street intersection improvement project.

Following award of the Downtown Lockport Streetscape to D Construction, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. (CBBEL) was brought in as the Phase 3 engineering consultant with V3 Companies as a subconsultant. Coordination between CBBEL, V3 and Teska, and IDOT was of utmost importance to the City of Lockport so that both contracts were efficiently completed given the challenges that come with simultaneous implementation of two contracts let by separate entities.

Additionally, one block of 9th Street (west of State Street) was designed and included as part of the streetscape work. With the work zones already in-place and very competitive pricing, it made sense to put together the final design and have the one block of 9th Street completed within the same construction season. Doing so avoided additional removal and restoration costs of sidewalks, brick pavers, planters, and also saved the businesses on 9th Street from having their area dug up a second time. Lastly, with the RR tracks in close proximity to the work zone, coordinating RR flagmen to complete the work under the original contract saved the City and IDOT time and expense.