City plans Bailly Street reconstruction
On March 21, the Hastings City Council will review plans for this year’s street repair project. This year’s project is focused on Bailly Street from Fourth Street to 10th Street. It includes Fourth and Fifth streets from Tyler Street to Bailly Street as well as four alleys between Tyler and Bailly streets.
“The street condition out there is terrible and has been for a long time,” said Public Works Director Nick Egger.
It’s also an area that’s been delayed; street projects lately have been smaller since the Riverfront Renaissance project has consumed the lion’s share of available funding, he said.
“This one was a backlog area, frankly, that we were hoping to get to sooner than now,” he said.
The streets and alleys in the project area will be redone and curbs and gutters will be added to both, to protect the edges of the pavement. Alley curbs won’t have much of a vertical face as street curbs.
The city is also planning to extend a trunk watermain down Bailly Street, tapping into watermain pieces already in place at either end of the street.
“This is part of a long-range vision for looping that trunk watermain across the east side of town,” Egger said. “... It’s meant to be a strengthened backbone to provide adequate flow and capacities for any development or growth that we might start to see on the east side of town.”
It would also assist firefighting capabilities, he added.
Along with the watermain, a number of water and sewer service replacements are also necessary.
An addition to the area will be a trail extension from Fourth Street to 10th Street. Although trail users currently can use the side of the road, the city’s vision is to create a trail system that’s separated from roadways, Egger said.
The trail link has been in the city’s comprehensive plan for some time, he said. It’s also linked to another trail project this summer, the Vermillion River Greenway, which will create a trail link near the Veterans Home in Hastings. In order to get grant funding for that project, the city stated it would also build the Bailly Street segment.
When complete, the trail will form a 10-mile loop. There are still some small pieces of the loop to close off, Egger said, but this summer’s work will finish the bulk of the extensions needed to close the loop.
Ideally, construction would begin in mid- or late May, and given good weather, could be finished by September or sooner.
Bailly Street doesn’t have a lot of room; directly to the east are railroad tracks and to the west are houses, some of which sit relatively close to the road. The limited space means that, in order to accomplish certain design goals, the use of the road will have to change a little.
Egger said city staff struggled to fit all the functions within the space, and several revisions have already been made to keep disruption to residents’ yards to a minimum.
“We gravitated toward keeping the street in the same footprint as much as we could,” Egger said.
The solution was to turn Bailly into a one-way street from Fourth to 10th street, allowing only southbound traffic. The current plans call for one lane of southbound traffic, one lane of parking and the trail.
Parking will be allowed along the whole length of Bailly, but only on the east side of the road, closest to the trail and railroad tracks.
“We did want to make provisions to allow for (parking) in the event that people had company and those sorts of things,” Egger said.
The actual cost of the project won’t be known until after the city accepts a contractor’s bid. For now, Egger is estimating a total of about $2.2 million. About half, he said, is related to the roadway surface and storm sewer items. The rest is mostly utility work.
A big factor in the cost is the ground on which the road sits.
“There’s quite a bit of bedrock beneath these road areas and that will be expensive to remove and dig trenches in it, to do both the trunk watermain and other utility improvements,” Egger said.
This is also the final year of work for the Riverfront Renaissance, and that project will cause some disruption in the core downtown area. The Bailly Street project, however, shouldn’t conflict with that.
“Bailly Street at present can travel north into downtown, but that use has dropped quite a bit over the last several years,” Egger said.
Much of the decline in use, he explained, is because of the implementation of the quiet zone, construction of a parking lot at the north end of Bailly and converting the northernmost section of the road to just a trailway.
Drivers heading north to downtown will still be able to take Tyler Street, which will be available to Third Street for the entire summer.
During car shows, there may be some impact on parking. A resident told the council Feb. 16 that parking does sometimes extend to Bailly Street during those events. During construction, on-street parking would not be available.
On March 21, the project scope and design will be up for discussion by the Hastings City Council. At that meeting, the council will also accept comments from the public. Residents directly adjacent to the project should have received mailed notices of the public hearing.
This particular meeting will only address the scope of the project – the physical work being done and the features included.
Assessments are not part of this discussion; a second public hearing specifically regarding the assessments will be scheduled in a few months, Egger said, after the city has time to receive project bids and determine its next course of action.
(Note: The public hearing was originally scheduled for March 7. This story was published in the Feb. 25, 2016 print edition of the Hastings Star Gazette with the March 7 date. After publication, the date of the public hearing was changed to March 21. This story has been updated to reflect that change.)