The city of Washington has hired Cochran to serve as a consultant for the Third Street overlay project.

The council approved a contract with Cochran Monday night. Director of Public Works John Nilges said the consultant is needed to help move the project forward.

Work is scheduled to begin in 2022. The project includes a 2-inch overlay from Jefferson Street to Highway 47. The project also will include upgrading sidewalks to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, curb and gutter work and other improvements needed.

“It’s a pretty substantial project,” Nilges said.

Under the deal, Cochran will be paid for design services and construction inspections during the project. The contract will pay Cochran up to $59,963.81 for design services and up to $39,655.09 for the inspections.

Nilges said the details of the project are still being worked out. He said the portions of Third Street being overlaid get fairly wide at points — some sections are 42 feet wide, he said.

With the excess width, Nilges said there may be some narrowing of the road involved in the project. He said the city is looking at adjusting the sidewalks from their current position.

Moving the sidewalks also would help get them from being so close to existing property lines, he said.

Another reason Cochran is needed is to help work with Ameren. The power company is redoing power lines along the street.

Nilges said Ameren is upgrading the Madison Avenue substation near McLaughlin field. The upgrades at the substation mean the lines need to be updated as well.

New lines will be installed and Nilges said they will be moved to the back of the right-of-way instead of the current position in the middle of the sidewalk.

Ameren’s project is expected to start soon and could be wrapped up by this summer. Nilges said Third Street is going to be “bit of a mess for about a year or two.”

“They couldn’t wait to get started and we can’t speed up,” he said.

Project Background

The Third Street overlay is being done with federal funds.

According to city staff, many of the curbs and sidewalks are in poor condition and could use an upgrade. Plans for the project also include making the street more bike-friendly.

The work will be funded through a federal Surface Transportation Project (STP)-Urban Program grant through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

The cost estimate for construction is $918,000. The federal participation will be $734,392 and the city’s share will be $183,598.

The city applied for funding for the Third Street overlay project in both 2017 and 2018.

The difference between the 2017 and 2018 applications, Nilges added, was the ADA transition plan.

In 2018, the city had its ADA transition plan underway, which likely is what pushed the project ahead of others the second time around, and scored higher that the 2017 round of funding.

Sidewalks and bike paths, addressed in the transition plan, weigh more heavily on the overall score now than in the past.

STP Projects

Since 1995, Washington has completed 18 projects with STP grants awarded under the annual Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGW). The most recent was the Jefferson Street bridge.

In 2018, an STP grant allocated funds for a major overlay and reconstruction of Bluff Road, from Highway 100 to the city limits.

In 2019, there was an overlay project completed on Steutermann Road from Highway A to Highway 47 and Bieker Road east of Highway 47.

A second STP project for High Street from Highway 100 to Fifth Street and from Highway 100 to Ninth Street is next on the list for the city.

Past projects include the Lafayette Street railroad improvement in 2015, overlay work on Stafford and 14th streets in 2015, and Highway 100 enhancements in 2013.

The first project completed with EW grants was the overlay of Bluff Road from Westlink Industrial Drive to the city limits in 1995.