Tonight at Richmond City Hall, Wisconsin Design and civil engineering company Strand Associates presented their final presentation before the Richmond City Commission votes to move forward with phase one of the Streetscape project. The extensive project, quoted at costing around $4 million tentatively includes the widening of West Main (US 25). The firm previously designed the streetscape for Lexington for the World Equestrian Games.
Phase One and of the project involves the urban core through most of downtown Richmond, and will begin after the City Commission enters their vote. Bidding for the project, as well as talks with the transportation cabinet, will commence as part of Phase one, which has an expected completion date for April 2018.
The stakeholder group, some of which were in attendance, includes Mayor Jim Barnes, City Manager Richard Thomas, Rose Rex of Main Street, Planking and Zoning, Mike Hale of Mike’s Hike and Bike, Llyod Jordison of the Madison County Health Department, Csepp and Dr. John Johnstone as the sole resident.
Positives of the new design were noted, such as that the path remains on the South Arlington side of road, as well as the inclusion of bike lanes, and a new 70 foot right of way.
The Residential section of the project would begin Phase 2, which has not been approved yet as there is only $1.5 million allotted at this time for Phase 1 in the urban section.
The firm had gotten extensive feedback from all stakeholders, including first responders, who reiterated the importance of emergency lanes throughout.
The largest cost of the project was cited as the overhead utilities relocation. A six-digit cost was quoted from phase one through Phase 4. A possible seven-digit cost option would include no poles and undergrounding with decorative street lighting and right of way acquisition required.
Mayor Barnes voiced concerns about consistency near Tates Creek with the utility poles, and asked about approaching Kentucky Utilities and AT&T regarding the expansion and removal of poles. The mayor also inquired about the cost by foot, and asked if they can put the utilities under the sidewalk as space was an issue.
City Commissioner Jason Morgan asked about cost analysis, and was told it was still to far out to get a definite answer. He also asked if poles could be removed to lessen the cost, which was not known if it was a possibility.
Dr. John Johnstone, as the sole homeowner present, said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity as he lives on West Main and that, as always, it comes down to money issues.
This was mentioned as the final public meeting, and there would be no more before the City Commission enters their vote. The firm was unable to give an exact number but quoted that total cost would be about $4 million. The City has, at the moment, a project budget of 1.5 million, which would only carry the widening and changes of West Main through Phase One.