Durand Downtown Streetscape Project
Frequently Asked Questions
Please be respectful of the Construction Crew and Engineers as they work on the Square and also of the businesses on the Square. Please be patient and considerate of the businesses as they try to keep things running as “normally” as possible during the Construction outside their front door. Traffic Control has been arranged through the Alliance Contractors and IDOT. You will see signs and flaggers controlling traffic during working hours. Things should be picked up in the evening to allow for the best flow of traffic as possible under the circumstances. Thank you for continuing to support our businesses.
When will the Square Project break ground?
The original date to break ground was Monday, April 4, 2022, however there was question on whether necessary soil sample results would be back in time, so the official start date was moved back to Monday, April 11, 2022. Preliminary work began Wednesday, April 6, 2022 with some equipment being delivered, barricades being put up and a bit of sawing beginning. Weather dependent, construction will be at full speed, as planned, the week of April 11, 2022.
How long will the project take to complete?
The contract for construction is 100 working days, not including weather, weekends and holidays. Projection for completion is sometime in September or October. There will be periodic updates here on the website and on our Facebook page.
Will the whole Square be closed down during construction?
Construction will follow the IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) approved PHASES:
- Center & Main Street to North Street (Drainage on the West side past McCorkle Funeral Home)
- West Side sidewalks
- East Side sidewalks
- Center Park
Alliance Contractors of Woodstock, Illinois, have ultimate control of procedure in coordination with IDOT requirements.
Most often there will be through traffic and parking of limited nature. Equipment and materials will be placed in specific locations on the Square, depending on which phase is being worked on at any given time. Materials and equipment will be as out of the way as possible. When one side of the Square is closed, the other will have through-traffic and parking. The detour for the other lane of traffic will be sent down Water Street. Detour signs will be placed so that that drivers will know the direction that traffic should go.
There may be portions of the project that effect the width of the road, in which the road will be closed to through traffic for short-term periods.
There is no believed time or cost savings to close the whole Square, nor was it an option. The PHASE procedure is the IDOT approved process.
Will Fehr- Graham have an engineer on-site?
There will an Observation Engineer from Fehr-Graham on-site daily as work is being completed.
Who are the Subcontractors?
Alliance Contractors followed IDOT procedures in going out to bid for subcontractors.
The following list are the lowest bidders and were awarded the job:
- HMA-William Charles
- Traffic Control– Selco Inc
- Landscaping– Arteaga
- Electrical – Elmund and Nelson
- Pavement Marking– Countryman Inc
- Environmental Consultant– Brownfield
- Railing– Kelley Ironworks
- Masonry– Jimmy’Z
- Signs-Bright Signs & Awnings and Countryman Inc
Who is the Engineer on the Project?
Fehr-Graham, Rockford, Illinois, had done work within the Village of Durand years before the Square Projects conception but was not working with us at the time. The Village of Durand used an SOQ (Statement of Qualifications) to screen engineering firms that wished to be considered for the Streetscape Project. The firms were anonymously scored by their qualifications and understanding of the Village and the scope of the project. Fehr-Graham scored the highest and we chose them to render a concept which has evolved into the project that is breaking ground now. Fehr-Graham came back on as the Village’s engineering firm at that time. They have done many projects for the Village and remain the Village’s engineering firm.
What General Contractor was chosen for the project?
Alliance Contractors of Woodstock, Illinois was the lowest bidder, at $1,737,375.02, and came highly recommended. Alliance Contractors generally does one of these types of projects per year.
A few of their previous Streetscape projects have been for:
- Village of Huntley
- Village of Skokie
- Village of Harvard
- Village of Forest Park
Mayor Hoffman reached out personally to the public works departments of each of these Villages who all gave rave reviews of Kurt M., Project Superintendent, Alliance Contractors and their crew. All Villages stated that they continue to have a good working relationship with the company. Kurt is available, friendly and helpful with anything needed. He took the initial steps to make sure paperwork and soil testing were completed so that the project could start on time. Kurt continues to keep the Village up-to-date on plans and progress.
Will storm drains be installed on the North end of the Square?
Minor drainage improvements are planned to help eliminate ponding in the pavement at the North end. This includes some storm pipe installation.
The large puddle of standing water by Anytime Fitness, Otter Creek Historical House and McCorkle’s Funeral Home will be addressed with this project.
Will the Businesses on the Square be accessible during construction?
Alliance Contractors and the Observation Engineer will work to make sure that business are accessible by front door, most of the time. Many businesses have back door access as well. There will be a some times when access will not be possible, for instance, when concrete is being poured in front of the business but should be short-term (a couple days). We will do our best to keep the community aware of closures as necessary.
What will happen with 2022 Events like the 4th of July?
For 2022- Changes to events normally hosted on the Square
1st Annual Glenn Matteson Memorial Car Show (formerly the Stateline Classics Car Show) will be held at the American Legion Hall this year on Sunday, June 12, 2022 Hosted by the Durand American Legion Post 676, 211 N. State Street, Durand, IL 61024
Durand 4th of July Festivities will follow it’s usual format with the exception of the Street Dance. Hopes are to plan the Street Dance in coordination with the completion of the Square as a “Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting” Event to celebrate completion of the project and invite everyone to gather back down to the Square and have some fun. It will not take place in July. Plans are to have the Parade as usual with the exception of going around the Square= W. Main to E. Main, turn right on State Street, turn right on South Street and end at Durand School. Watch for flyers and postings on the D.A.R.T.S. Facebook page.
Biker Bash & Chili Shootout may not take place in 2022, however coordinators are holding off on an announcement either way in hopes that the Project may be done by the 2nd Saturday in September. Moving this event is a bit more difficult as distance creates some issues for liquor establishments and licensing. Watch for information regarding the Biker Bash as the time draws near.
Will the street surface be removed and new pavement installed?
The center portion of the roadway is NOT ITEP ELIGIBLE, meaning it was NOT able to be part of this the project for payment with the ITEP grant monies. However, the Village plans to pay out-of-pocket, independent of this project, to remove the cracked, water-damaged pavement in the center of the roadway and repave.
The Village is NOT raising the road bed?
Correct. There was discussion in the past of whether to remove Center Park, raise the entire roadway, and replace Center Park but did not pass. The current project will raise the sidewalks to the building doorways, with the road remaining at its current level.
Since the sidewalks will be ADA Compliant, will the Storefronts be handicap accessible?
Not necessarily. The Project will bring the sidewalks up to the building doorways. It will be the property owners responsibility to take measures to make their entrance handicap accessible.
Is there an insurance bond from Alliance Contractors and Fehr-Graham provided to the Village of Durand?
Yes. The Contractor carries insurance that will cover anything that occurs as a direct result of the construction of the project.
What is the total cost of the Project and how much will Durand have out-of-pocket?
- $1,737,375.02 The Accepted Low Bid
- $150,401.86 Engineering Fees
- $20,000 ITEP Grand Administration
- $1,907,776.88 Total Project Cost
- $1,289,560 Original Awarded ITEP Grant
- $220,662 Additional Awarded ITEP Grant
- $1,510,222 Total Grand Funding Secured
$397,554.80 Village Match for this project
There will be additional costs out-of-pocket for the Village of Durand for any change orders that are necessary or issues that arise. Also, the center of the roadway is NOT ITEP ELIGIBLE to be paid by Grant monies. The Village will take care of the roadway independently of this project.
How will the Village pay for this project?
The Village of Durand is working with Solutions Bank and our legal team to secure funding through either a low interest loan or bonds. More information will follow as details come together in its final form.
Can TIF funds be used for this Project?
This Project IS eligible for TIF fund use, however, the Village is working on creating a Facade Program for the property owners on the Square to possibly offset any costs associated with improving their fascade or bringing their entrance into ADA compliance. Those details should come together on what and how that can be done.
Will there be new Lamp Posts? Are these to be installed on the sidewalks or boulevard?
Yes, there will be new lamp posts on both the sidewalks and the boulevard. Sidewalk lamp posts are 40′ high with a head over the parking spaces, a pedestrian light over the sidewalk and lamp posts in Center Park. These are paid in part by the USDA RBEG Grant that was received for this project. They have been purchased and are stored with Public Works until installation.
How will lamp posts affect upper apartments on the Square?
Room darkening shades or curtains are suggested. There has been discussion of possibly dimming these lights after a certain time, however whether that is an option has not been resolved yet.
Will there be handicap parking?
Yes, there will handicap parking stalls at the North and South ends of each side of the Square near the ramps. There will possibly be a few others striped on our additional parking lots when they are paved as well.
Our additional parking lots are:
- At the Southeast end of the Square (old Spelman Station/Hopper Lot)
- Off of Oak Street (behind the East side of the Square)
- North of Anytime Fitness
Will there be assigned parking?
After careful consideration, the Village Board still believes that this is not feasible. Parking on Square in public parking, first-come, first-served basis.
How will snow be removed?
The Village of Durand will REMOVE snow instead of push snow from the roadway. The Village will also assume responsibility of clearing snow from the sidewalks with over 2″ of snowfall. Only Village approved salt will be allowed on the sidewalks.
Who will care for the plants in the planters?
The Village will possibly hire for the first year and then Public Works will assume care once the plants are established. It is yet to be determined, the Village may assume care in the first season 2023.
Are the planters cement? What happens if water freezes in them?
The planters are cement and are part of the retaining wall. They are open all the way to the ground and will drain into the ground. There should never be extended periods of standing water in them.
Is there room for bistro tables and chairs?
No, unfortunately, we pulled back some of the space that was considered for tables on the sidewalk with concern for narrowing the roadway too much. There will be periodic benches on the sidewalks around the Square.
Then roadway looks narrow in the rendering. Will the driving lane be wide enough for tractors, semis, fire trucks?
Center Street is a State Highway up to the Square. Fehr-Graham designed the layout with IDOT approval. The driving lane will remain wider that State requirement. Semi trucks, Fire Trucks, buses, etc will still be able to drive through the Square. However, the roadway will not be wide enough for Combines and wide farm equipment to drive through. The Village has asked that farm equipment use the “farm route” which is Pepper Street, West Main Street, East Main Street, and South Street. These are the outside perimeter of the Village. ComEd has been asked to audit the height of power lines on those streets to make sure they are high enough. Mediacom and Frontier have not been as responsive to this request in the past, however it is their repsonsibly to keep their lines at State guideline heights.
UPDATE April 11, 2022: The long awaited “Square Project” has broken ground. The large, concrete materials arrived on-site, over the weekend, for storm sewer installation at North Street headed South to the Square by McCorkle’s Funeral Home. The sidewalk and pavement will be removed as the sewer insulation is being installed to minimize the impact to the business.
UPDATE April 7, 2022: Preliminary work for the Durand Downtown Streetscape Project began yesterday on the Square with some equipment being delivered, some barricades and a bit of sawing. Some materials will be delivered Friday. Work will begin full speed next week, weather dependent. The project is expected to be completed in September or October of 2022.
UPDATE March 11, 2022: The Village hosted a meeting of property & business owners affected by the Square Project on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 in the Solutions Bank Community Room. Many questions were answered about the construction process, costs and timeline. Village President, Sheila Hoffman, Mick Gronewold, Fehr Graham Engineer, and Kurt Montanye, Alliance Contractors were available to field any additional questions that weren’t on the FAQ sheet handed out. The preliminary start date is the first week of April 2022 if weather cooperates and soil sample results come back in a timely manner. The Square will maintain limited traffic flow and parking during the construction process. Some car traffic with be routed around to Water Street. Every effort will be made to have consistent access to the front of the businesses for customers.
UPDATE January 28, 2022: The Durand Downtown Streetscape Project will break ground Spring 2022! Bids were taken November 5, 2021 and award was made to the lowest bidder- Alliance Contractors, Inc, Woodstock, IL for $1,737,375.02. The Village held off on construction due to the pandemic and an application submitted to the Restore Illinois Grant, which unfortunately, never materialized. Since bids came in quite a bit higher than our cost estimate, the Village requested a grant increase from IDOT for additional Federal Funding to close the gap and keep our ITEP grant at an 80/20 split. IDOT graciously approved our request with additional funds of $220,662.00 = total grant funds of $1,510,222.00 towards the project. Previously, light poles, bike racks and trash receptacles were purchased using the USDA RBDG grant (mentioned below). These items are stored with Public Works until needed during construction. Plans are set to meet with the property owners affected by construction in late February.
UPDATE March 30, 2021: Though the Pandemic has brought some challenges our way, the Square Project is still a GO. The State of Illinois created the Restore Illinois Grant in Summer of 2020 with awards to be announced August 2020. The Restore Illinois Grant is a $500,000/100% grant that could be used to replace the roadway in addition to the current project where ITEP and RDBG funds are not roadway eligible. Although the decision to apply for the additional $500,000 funding pushed back the project a bit, we feel it was worth a try. Awards for the Restore Illinois Grant for Infrastructure projects is now estimated to be reviewed by the end of April 2021. We have been given the option to withdraw our application and move forward now but we are hopefully close to an award answer in the near future. Once the awards are announced, whether we receive the grant or not, the project will move forward with sealed bids for work. The sunset clause on the project requires ground to break by the end of September 2021, however we have been assured if things get pushed back due to IDOT requirements that Spring of 2022 will be accepted. We look forward to completion of this project and are excited about the upgrade to pedestrian safety, lighting, drainage, traffic calming and, of course, ADA access to local properties on the Square. Any further updates will be posted here.
May 4, 2018, The Village of Durand was awarded the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) (80/20%) Grant for the Durand Downtown Streetscape Project which intends to rejuvenate its downtown business district-The Square. The Village will receive $1,289,560 federal dollars administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation towards the $1.7 million dollar project. The Village of Durand was selected from 218 project applications of which 53 projects were selected totaling $35,687,690. This was our third ITEP application since 2012 for this project. To offset cost out of pocket, the Village also secured the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG)(50/50%) for $85,000 in 2014 for lighting, benches and such. The Village is at the end of the grace period for use of this grant and will pre-purchase lighting fixtures and required items and store them until they are ready to be installed to fulfill the grant use timeline.
On October 8, 2018, The Village Board of Trustees voted 5-1 to additionally add replacing the roadway of the square at the time of construction, which was not ITEP eligible. Roadway work is estimated to be $217,000.
December 10, 2018, The Village Board of Trustees voted 6-0 on STYLES: for lights, trash and cigarette receptacles, and benches for the Square Project (USDA RBEG Grant).
The ITEP Grant comes with a timeline of 3 years to complete the project. The Grant administration and project progression is highly regulated and requires a good deal of time and paperwork. Plans are estimated to break ground in Spring/Summer 2020!
Durand Downtown Streetscape Project is designed to address:
- ADA Compliance/Handicap Accessibility
- Pedestrian Safety
- Traffic Calming
- Water Drainage
- Overall Welcoming Aesthetics
- Encourage New Business and Improvements to existing Businesses
In November 2017, Fehr Graham Engineering and Environmental, the engineering firm hired by the Village of Durand, used the latest technology to create a 3D video rendering of the proposed Durand Square renovations, titled Durand Square Streetscape Improvements-Village of Durand, Illinois, which was submitted with the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Grant application.
Disclaimer: All information including drawings, cost estimates, photos, videos and all other such materials are available for your understanding of the scope of work and proposed idea only. Elements of the proposed project have changed or may change such as building changes that have already taken place since this video was created, exact final costs, plantings, lighting fixtures, placement of elements and redesign where necessary. Private property/storefronts are not included in the village portion of this project. Property owners are responsible for final access from door threshold into that property.