EFFINGHAM — A portion of a street closed off due to the Jefferson Avenue road reconstruction project is set to open this week, according to Effingham Public Works Director Jeremy Heuerman.
Highlights of the new Jefferson Avenue include new concrete pavement with stamped crosswalks, a new 10-inch water main, electric pedestals for downtown events and new outdoor cafes.
Much of the legwork and design work for the Jefferson Avenue project happened during the past city administration under Mayor Jeff Bloemker, but the work was bid out by the current council.
Heuerman said that the city decided to do this project to utilize Central TIF funds for a long-term infrastructure investment in the downtown area.
“We replaced the water main last winter, which caused significant damage to the road,” Heuerman said. “This updates the downtown and gives a fresh look for businesses, pedestrians and visitors to enjoy the downtown area and all it has to offer.”
The remaining work includes pavement markings, sealing the remaining joints and minor cleanup.
Phase 5 is nearly complete, with the sealing of joints and red brick crosswalks to be completed Wednesday. It is anticipated Phase 5 between the CN Railroad crossing and Banker Street will be open to traffic on Thursday, Oct. 10.
The contractor is doing a general cleanup on Jefferson Avenue from Front Street to Third Street, with the crews working in various locations. People are advised to use caution. There will be a closure of Banker Street between Jefferson Avenue and Washington Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 9, to install an asphalt transition between the new and old pavement.
The work is expected to be completed before noon.