Friday, Aug. 27


City briefs

Roads, roads, traffic signals and signs

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[AUG. 27, 2004]  Infrastructure, streets and alleys, sidewalks, lights, and signs have been frequent topics at city meetings this fiscal year, which began May 1. City streets and alleys have been getting and will continue to get lots of attention in Lincoln. Work that was put on hold during tight times is coming up to the top of the to-do list.

Road rejuvenations

> Asphalt grinder

The city received information and a demonstration of a portable milling machine this week. The equipment grinds pavement, leaving the ground material behind it. Afterward, all that needs doing is to level and roll it, then oil and chip it again or apply another asphalt overlay.

Council member Jonie Tibbs said that what caught her attention was the cost-effectiveness. Two to three days of work could be done in five hours, saving the cost of time and wages for labor. The cost of the operation is low also.

According to Streets Superintendent Tracy Jackson, the grinder would more than pay for itself in grinding, shaping, oiling and chipping of the roads that are on the city's list.

City engineer Mark Mathon said that the equipment company works with a financing company with various payment plans. One of the plans that looks good is a five-year lease with yearly payments. One means of paying for it would be to use motor fuel tax equipment rental money.

> Elm Street

A total of $410,000 has been budgeted for major renovation to Elm Street next spring. The project uses state money; therefore, it must follow state specs, which will not only cause some residents to lose a portion of their yards but will also increase the costs of the total project.

Ward 2 Alderman Tibbs has been hearing from the people that live on the street that they aren't entirely in favor of all the changes that are entailed in the renovation. Some residents don't want to lose part of their yards, as would happen putting in curbs and gutters and straightening the road some. In addition to the residents' feelings about the proposed changes, Tibbs said, "A half a million dollars is a lot of money to spend on a street that goes nowhere."

Tibbs feels that the city could get the grinder equipment that they looked at this week and then do the work themselves in grinding and reshaping Elm Street the way the residents would prefer it, without the road cutting into people's yards as much. "And that's what these people want," Tibbs said. "They don't want curbs and gutters. They want just a nice street." Then we could use that money "on streets that do go somewhere and leave a lasting impression on our town when we have visitors," she said.


[to top of second column in this article]

City engineer Mark Mathon agreed that this could be done, and it would be at a savings.

Sewer manager Grant Eaton said the drainage ditches would still need cleaning and retrenching, but he also agreed with the suggestion.

Alderman Benny Huskins said that he would like to know how the residents on Elm Street feel about it before a decision is made. Let the majority speak, he said.

Alderman Verl Prather said: "I think every street is important. Every street goes somewhere. It doesn't have to be a main thoroughfare for us to improve it." The people that live there need to have a say in it. "But we can't use that motor fuel tax and not bring the road up to par," he said.

Letters will go out and there will be a public hearing on the matter on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.


City officials heard from frustrated motorists early this week. The individual timing of traffic signal lights up and down Woodlawn Road, from College Street to Interstate 55, was out of control.

Superintendent Jackson assured everyone who had experienced driving delays (or not) due to the lights that he had been out and replaced CPUs, and the lights are now working properly.

New STOP signs

Pekin and McLean: Stop signs were already present on Pekin Street. Two additional signs have been added on McLean Street, making this a four-way STOP now.  (At that corner: Lincoln Public Library, Lincoln Christian Church, Dr. John Logan County Building, Latham Park)

Pekin and Sangamon: Yield signs on Sangamon Street have been changed to STOP signs. (At that corner: Bode Welding)

[Jan Youngquist]

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