Waterloo connecting its walkways

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Pictured is a map of the proposed North Waterloo Trail Connector. 

A loop of interconnected sidewalks and multi-use paths through Waterloo is moving closer to fruition.

The Waterloo City Council last Tuesday night approved a task order for HMG Inc. to perform design engineering and bidding services at an amount not to exceed $85,000 for the future construction of a new concrete sidewalk along the east side of North Market Street from Route 3 to HH Road and then on the south side of HH Road east to Route 3.

Waterloo Director of Public Works Tim Birk said the plan is to begin this sidewalk project next spring, with possible completion next summer. The project price range is about  $250,000.  

With this project, a walking trail and sidewalk along Rogers Street and Country Club Lane will connect to the shared use path installed as part of Route 3 improvements from North Market Street to South Market Street.

Last summer, Monroe County completed an installation of sidewalk from Rogers Street west along Country Club Lane to Route 3.

The next attempt is for funding to construct improved crosswalks across Route 3.

“We are co-sponsoring a grant application with the City of Waterloo for federal funding to install signalized pedestrian crossings and crosswalks across Route 3,” Monroe County Engineer Aaron Metzger said.   “Funds will be awarded in spring 2021, with construction in spring 2022.”

The grant application is with the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, a federally funded grant program that promotes alternate modes of transportation. That project cost is estimated at $300,000.

Birk said the city is still trying for grant funding on a proposed sidewalk project that would connect the shared use path on Route 3 at South Market Street to the entrance of Waterloo High School at Bulldog Boulevard.

“The idea came from connecting the dots and wanting to create a loop,” Metzger said in an earlier article on the Waterloo trail connector concept. 

In other news from the Sept. 8 meeting, the city council OK’d similar task orders with HMG for engineering services related to the reconstruction of Morrison Avenue from Route 156 (Front Street) two blocks south to Hartman Lane and the reconstruction of Moore Street from Gibault Catholic High School to Route 3 at amounts not to exceed $100,000 and $265,000, respectively. 

The council also approved the purchase of a new warning siren from Federal Signal for $17,107.88 to replace an inoperable siren at Waterloo High School.

Lastly, the council approved managerial raises for human resources manager Jessica Rucks and building inspector/code enforcement director Nathan Krebel.

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