Bike path extension nearing completion

Restoration, paving of old path to begin later this summer

ROCHELLE — The new bike path extension from 20th Street to Beebe Drive should be paved and ready for use in a few weeks if the weather cooperates.
Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District park superintendent Don Elliott gave an update on the project to the commissioners Monday night and said he believes the path should be completed by mid-June.
“The recent rains have delayed things a little bit,” Elliott said. “There were also a few low areas that needed some additional stone. Paving is set to start west of the bridge, so I think they are really close to finishing up.”
Discussion then turned to repairs and repaving of the original bike path, including questions about the overall costs of that rehab project, which is also taking place this summer.
“The bike path maintenance costs are higher than expected and we will now have to do it in two phases,” Elliott stated. “We will be doing the majority of the path this year at a cost of $477,000, but due to the city’s radium plant work we won’t be able to work on the path from Flagg Road to Flanagan Park in Hillcrest until next year.”
Elliott added that estimates of the repairs and paving for 2018 are approximately $108,000, but if construction prices go up next spring the city is going to be asked to cover the difference since Rochelle Municipal Utilities asked the park district to wait on the path work near the north water well.
“Didn’t we talk about doing the repairs over several years rather than all at once?” asked park commissioner Dale Wells.
“Yes, we looked at three to five years, but we have the money now in the capital improvement fund and we want to get it all done so the public has a nicely paved path all the way around,” said park director Roger Bunger.
Elliott was then asked when the restoration project will start and if it will close down portions or the entire path during that time.
“Bids are due by June 16 and then you would probably need to hold a special meeting to approve a bid if you want to get going on it before your regular July meeting,” Elliott said. “I’m not sure if we would shut down portions of the path as the work progressed or entire path all at once, but I would think the project should be completed in six weeks.”
Bleacher project
Elliott also gave the park board a report on the bleacher replacement project at Helms Field.
“The old bleachers just sat on dirt, so I think we need to put in a pad as a foundation,” he explained. “After looking a couple of options, I believe it is best to put in a concrete slab.”
Following more discussion about the improvements in the area and removal of a portion of fencing around the field, the board voted 5-0 to install a cement pad for the new bleachers at a cost of $12,188 and to also paint the existing building by the bleachers for $3,300.
Connolly Park shelter
In their last order of business on Monday night, park commissioners approved putting a new roof on the Connolly Park shelter at a cost of approximately $12,000.
The park is located on Rochelle’s south side of town near the intersection of Cleveland and Gary, and it is used frequently by area residents and for the summer lunch program.
A local Kiwanis group has also committed $1,000 toward the project, and Elliott said that the roof would be similar to what was done at the Powers Park shelter in Hillcrest.
“Connolly park is used a lot, and I think we need to put a nice roof on the shelter,” added Norcross.
The board then voted 5-0 to move forward with the project.

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