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Normal council approves 2 contracts for street resurfacing

Two large yellow signs saying "BUMP" and "FRESH OIL" sit in the middle of the street.
Emily Bollinger
WGLT file
Construction on the Town of Normal's resurfacing projects will begin this month and continue through the next year.

The Normal Town Council approved two contracts on Monday related to street resurfacing projects, awarding two contracts to Rowe Construction to upgrade about five miles of roads.

The first contract is for the 2024 General Street Resurfacing Project that will repair segments of streets needing resurfacing with a hot mix asphalt overlay. The town states “streets are selected for repair based on several factors, including condition, underlying utility needs, traffic level, rehabilitation type, deterioration rate, and cost.”

The contract with Rowe, a division of United Contractors Midwest Inc., is for $3.1 million. Work is expected to begin this month and end in June of 2025.

The second contract is for the 2024 MFT Street Resurfacing Project. This is for the same purpose and uses the same criteria as the General Street Resurfacing Project, but pulls its funds from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund.

This contract is in the amount of $966,331. Work will begin this summer and end in the fall.

Council member Karyn Smith pulled the agenda item concerning the General Street Resurfacing Project for discussion. She wanted to know the miles of pavement involved in the process.

Together, both projects will amount to just more than five miles of pavement. Smith wanted it clarified that this is pavement miles, not lane miles, which town officials confirmed is the case.

“That’s a significant amount of pavement taking place,” Smith told WGLT.

She added the approvals of both contracts with Rowe Construction means “we’re able to give them the go ahead while the weather’s still good enough for them to get cracking on it.”

Public comment

Two public commenters at Monday’s brief meeting expressed displeasure with perceived inattention on the part of the council to certain areas of Normal’s infrastructure.

One commenter, identified only as Ronald, detailed what he sees as disrepair and untrimmed bushes at the School Street underpass. He also spoke of a cracked sidewalk he believes contributed to his wife breaking her leg.

Stephen Thompson spoke specifically about streets, expressing concern that streets in west Normal seem to get repaired less often than those elsewhere in town.

Thompson was specifically upset about recent repairs to Gregory Street while College Avenue has not had work he thinks is needed.

Thompson said on Gregory Street, he can ride his bicycle “right by the curb no problem, no holes. You can’t do that on College Street. You’ll get killed.” He added that patching done to College “made it worse.”

“The west side wants to know when you’re going to fix it,” Thompson said. “We’re getting taxed with no representation from none of you.”

“The decision about repairs and repaving is driven by… data,” Smith told WGLT, referencing the town’s Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) study.

Smith noted all of the information regarding which streets will be repaired and when is available on the town’s website dashboard. Also, a complete list of the streets that will be repaired in the contracts awarded Monday is available in the council's agenda packet.

Adeline Schultz is a correspondent at WGLT. She joined the station in 2024.