After a slow start, the Argonne Road construction project is back on schedule.
At its first special bi-monthly meeting to discuss the project, the Millwood City Council received the good news from project manager Matt Gillis.
“I’m happy to report progress has ramped up substantially,” said Gillis, of engineering firm Welch Comer. “In the last two weeks they’ve (Red Diamond Construction) gained two additional weeks in progress. So I think we’re back on schedule or ahead of schedule.”
This news was a welcome change from the information reported two weeks prior. At that time, Gillis reported the contractor had been on the job only eight days in a month’s period.
Red Diamond cited engineering issues and inclement weather conditions as the reason for the slow start.
Gillis estimates if Red Diamond keeps with the current pace the project could be completed by mid-July.
According to Gillis, last week’s shift of traffic to the west side improved access to local businesses with a right-turn only entry.
Work on the east side is nearing completion with paving scheduled to begin Friday.
The concrete intersection at Euclid Avenue is complete, allowing paving work to begin on the north and south sides of the railroad tracks next week.
During the meeting, the council decided to address extending the project’s scope of work south to Buckeye Avenue as the project approaches completion. Currently the project only goes from South Riverway to Frederick Avenue.
Red Diamond’s bid came in below the $1.3 million federal grant the city is using to pay for the work. The council could use the remaining $478,000 to expand the project.
Gillis updated the council on the sidewalk enhancement project. He confirmed the city received an additional $26,000 from the Transportation Improvement Board in addition to the $108,000 the city received last December.
During a previous meeting, the city agreed to pay the additional $38,000 not provided by the grant to complete pedestrian improvements from Buckeye to South Riverway. The total cost of the project is $172,000.
Council awarded the project to Cameron-Reilly at a special meeting June 3.
In other news, the council discussed residents’ complaints on the closure of Fowler road. At the June 3 meeting, the council voted unanimously to close Fowler for the duration of the Argonne corridor project because of a high volume of truck traffic traveling down Fowler.
“Sometimes we can get involved like other agencies by listening to minority loud voice and maybe that’s happened in this case,” Councilman Glenn Bailey said. “If the balance of the neighborhood is offended by it maybe we need to take a second look.”
At the next meeting, city planner Tom Richardson plans to present a contract for Welch Comer to conduct an independent engineering traffic study of Empire, Fowler and Butler streets.