Improvements to a 1.02-mile stretch of Springfield Avenue are expected to begin this spring.

The board of aldermen this week approved awarding a contract to K.J. Unnerstall Construction Company, Washington, for the work, which includes repairing sidewalks, removing curbs and installing ramps, as well as adding 5-foot sidewalks where there currently are none.

The sidewalk on Springfield at Oak Street also will be widened and the road will be resurfaced.

City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said the bids for the project came in better than expected, adding that the numbers were lower because of a change in design.

“With this particular project, we got into design three years ago, when prices were going up on construction projects,” he explained. “We went back and re-evaluated this project and there’s a lot of concrete sidewalks that were built in about 1998.”

He said that the sidewalks are in good condition, but were still programmed to be replaced.

“We discussed it with MoDOT (Missouri Department of Transportation) and we were able to leave it in place, (which) helped us get the project down to a manageable size,” he told the board.

The original scoping estimate was $830,000, but included replacing the older sidewalk. The engineer’s original estimate was $761,769.

The low bid, from K.J. Unnerstall Construction, was $577,426.50.

Other bids included Gateway, $594,365.20; West Contracting, $612,470; Krupp Construction, $708,831.40; JM Marschuetz, $742,122; and Pace Construction, $852,850.

Zimmermann noted that there will be some disruption to traffic downtown as Ameren relocates utility poles in the Springfield corridor, which is slated to begin in February. Work on the sidewalks is expected to begin in March.

Funding

Funding for the federally funded project was part of the 2015-18 TIP that was approved in July 2015 by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. The funds require a local match of 20 percent, while 80 percent of the project will be funded federally through a grant administered through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.