Home / City Projects / Downtown Infrastructure and Streetscape Plan

Downtown Infrastructure and Streetscape Plan

 

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

Let there be light!  Tuesday, June 19, 2018 after Mayor Lou O'Donnell, IV turned on the lights of North Whittaker Street for the first time.

 


 

 

6 22 NB Dtown 1 band parade 1.jpg

 

Patriot Brass Ensemble marches up North Whittaker Street from Mechanic to Merchant during Downtown Opening Celebration on June 14, 2018. 

 

Mayor Lou O'Donnell, IV and DDA Chair Robert Kemper celebrating after the official ribbon cutting at the Downtown Opening Celebration of the completion of the North Whittaker Street Project.

 

 

NORTH WHITTAKER STREET PHASE II CONSTRUCTION IS UNDER WAY!!!

n.jpg

Pictured from left: Council Members Mark Robertson and Liz Ennis, Mayor Lou O'Donnell, Pokagon Band Representative Barbara Warren, Council Members Robert Sprito and Mark Kroll, DDA Chair Robert Kemper.

Monday, October 2, 2017, Phase II of the North Whittaker Street Project officially began with a groundbreaking at 4:00 pm.  Work will begin on Phase II starting this week and crews will be at work on-site. The following is intended as a general summary of the work and is subject to change without notice due to weather, underground issues, and other unforeseen circumstances.


 

PARDON OUR DUST WHILE WE REMODEL!!

The City of New Buffalo wanted to confirm to all residents that businesses will be open during construction.  Click here to find out more information and an up to date schedule.   Please continue to support all our local businesses.  We appreciate your patience as we work hard on improving our downtown. 


The following is intended as a general summary of the work and is subject to change without notice due to weather, underground issues, and other unforeseen circumstances.

 

Work for water service connections will be dependent on weather conditions and limitations.

 

Work anticipated, week of 02/19/2018:

  • With a projected temperature increase, Pajay will attempt to complete the installation of water services on N. Whittaker. Localized closures will be needed intermittently.
  • Concrete work for retaining walls will begin, as well as sidewalk removals. Full-block closures will be required intermittently.

 

Water Service Connection Notes:

  • Water service connections to be interior and require access within buildings.
  • If you are a resident and/or business owner along N. Whittaker St. and have NOT signed a permission form to authorize access to your building to perform service connection work, please do so at City Hall as soon as possible.  
  • Notices to be distributed to businesses/residents prior to water service connection work.
  • Businesses and residents are advised to continue to run water during freezing conditions as previously done to prevent freezing until notified that new water system is functional.

Next public tailgate meeting:

  • Thursday, 02/22/2018 at 9 a.m. at New Buffalo City Hall
  • This standing weekly meeting is intended to provide construction updates and to allow residents the opportunity to ask questions regarding the construction process.


Please click here for Whittaker Street Phase II Construction Schedule.  This is a tentative schedule, subject to change.

Work completed, week of 10/9/2017:

* Roadway removals to begin new sanitary sewer main construction
* New sanitary sewer manhole set at intersection of Mechanic St. and N. Whittaker St.
* Sanitary tie-in from existing sanitary sewer (from Phase I)
* Sanitary main line construction starting from Mechanic/Whittaker intersection heading south toward Buffalo St.
* Connection of new sanitary service leads as sanitary mainline is constructed
Work anticipated, week of 10/16/2017:
*
Completion of sanitary sewer along N. Whittaker St.
* Completion of new sanitary service connections
Next public tailgate meeting:
*10/19/2017 at 9 a.m. (location below)
* This standing weekly meeting is intended to provide construction updates and to allow residents the opportunity to ask questions regarding the construction process.
* Meetings are weekly at 9 a.m. on Thursdays at the NE corner of Whittaker St. and Mechanic St. (near Subway)

Work anticipated, week of 10/2/2017: 

-Construction to begin 10/4/2017

- Roadway removals to begin new sanitary sewer main construction
- Sanitary sewer main and manhole construction along North Whittaker Street, beginning at Mechanic Street and progressing southwest towards Buffalo Street.
Next public tailgate meeting:
- 10/12/2017 at 9 a.m. (location below)
- This standing weekly meeting is intended to provide construction updates and to allow residents the opportunity to ask questions regarding the construction process.
- Meetings are weekly at 9 a.m. on Thursdays at the NE corner of Whittaker St. and Mechanic St. (near Subway)

 

Work completed, week of 10/16/2017:

  • New sanitary sewer manhole set at intersection of Merchant St. and N. Whittaker St.
    • Completion of sanitary main line along N. Whittaker St., between Mechanic St. and Merchant St.
    • Completed connections of sanitary services to new sanitary main along N. Whittaker St., between Mechanic St. and Merchant St.

Work anticipated, week of 10/23/2017:

  • Construction of sanitary main line along N. Whittaker St., between Merchant St. and Buffalo St.
  • Connections of sanitary services to new sanitary main along N. Whittaker St., between Merchant St and Buffalo St.

 Next public tailgate meeting:

  • 10/26/2017 at 9 a.m. (location below)
  • This standing weekly meeting is intended to provide construction updates and to allow residents the opportunity to ask questions regarding the construction process.
  • Meetings are weekly at 9 a.m. on Thursdays at the SE corner of Whittaker St. and Mechanic St.
This project was made possible, in part, due to a generous $1.6 million grant from 
This project was made possible, in part, due to a generous $1.6 million grant from The Pokagon Fund. 

 


PHASE II PROJECT SUMMARY:

Start Date : October 2, 2017

Estimated Completion Date: May 18, 2018

Construction Contract Amount:  $1,775,913.70 

 

Project Scope:

Phase II of the City’s plans for the redevelopment of N. Whittaker St. and the downtown area will improve infrastructure and parking along N. Whittaker St. from Buffalo St. to Mechanic St. The project will include reconstruction of the roadway and sidewalks and complete redevelopment of the downtown area. In addition to N. Whittaker St., Merchant St. (N. Barton to N. Thompson) will be reconstructed and transitioned from two-way to one-way traffic leading away from N. Whittaker. Work on N. Whittaker St. and W. Merchant St. will include storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water main, gas main, overhead utility burial, full depth roadway, and streetscape redevelopment.  The work on E. Merchant will include storm sewer, water main, and full depth roadway. Additionally, the top layer of the roadway on Whittaker St., from Mechanic St. to Water St., will be milled and repaved.

 

Estimated Reconstruction Quantities:

897 Ft of New Sanitary Sewer

1461 Ft of New Storm Sewer

1546 Ft of New Water Main

0.25 Miles of Full Depth Roadway Reconstruction

32,681 Sq Ft of Sidewalk Repairs and Improvements



PHASE I PROJECT SUMMARY:

Start Date: February 27, 2017

Completion Date: May 23, 2017

Project Construction Cost: $1,165,229.30

 

Project Scope:

The objective of Phase I was to improve infrastructure and parking, as well as reconstruction of roadways and sidewalks to set the stage for the upcoming Phase II. Phase I included work on Mechanic St. (from N. Barton to Townsend) and N. Barton St. (from W. Merchant to W. Mechanic) with three additional road-end parking lots at Barton, Thompson, and Townsend. In addition, a new parking lot was constructed at the corner of Barton and Mechanic and new on-street parking was added on E. Mechanic St., east of Townsend St. N. Barton St. work included sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water main, and full depth roadway reconstruction. W. Mechanic St. work included storm sewer, water main, and full depth roadway reconstruction. E. Mechanic St. work included storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and full depth roadway reconstruction.

 

Reconstruction Quantities:

1095 Ft of New Sanitary Sewer

1109 Ft of New Storm Sewer

797 Ft of New Water Main

0.325 Miles of Full Depth Roadway Reconstruction

11,719 Sq Ft of Sidewalk Repairs and Improvements

 


North Whittaker Street Redevelopment Phase I

 

The North Whittaker Redevelopment Project has been divided in two phases.  Phase I includes Barton and Mechanic Street.  Phase II includes North Whittaker Street.

 

This project was made possible, in part, due to a generous $1.6 million grant from The Pokagon Fund. 

The preliminary budget and funding sources are at the link below:

 

Budget and Funding Breakdown

 

After reviewing and assessing the existing infrastructure, three key areas were identified as part of this project:

 

Whittaker Street (Buffalo to Mechanic) is the main component of the reconstruction project.  It is in need of a full reconstruction due to the poor condition of both the roadway and utilities.  The existing water main is over 100 years old and is so shallow that the water service lines freeze during the winter.  In addition to replacing the water main, the sanitary and storm sewers will be repaired or replaced for more efficient service.  Reconfiguring Whittaker Street with parallel parking, wider sidewalks and a bike lane will offer a more inviting public space for our residents and visitors alike.

 

Both Barton Street (Merchant to Mechanic) and Mechanic Street (Whittaker to Thompson) were recently upgraded to include new water and sewer systems, paving, curbs and sidewalks.  Due to the improvements the City has gained 66 additional parking spots.

Other areas that will received curb, sidewalk and pavement rehabilitation and utility upgrades are Merchant Street (Barton to Whittaker) and Merchant Street (Barton to Thompson). 

 


At the July 19, 2016 meeting, the City Council approved Option 2 for the Whittaker Street configuration.  This configuration includes parallel parking on both sides of Whittaker, bike lanes and widened sidewalks.

 

Proposed N Whittaker St Configuration

 

 

Parallel parking allows for safer pedestrian and bicycle movement and also provides for better visibility of building facades.  Many residents and business owners expressed concern about the parking configuration change.  Spaces lost on Whittaker will be relocated to surrounding streets such as Barton and Mechanic.  The plan is to evaluate all surrounding streets and maximize parking especially in areas that are currently underutilized or not clearly delineated.

 

The addition of a bike lane is an extension of the recent South Whittaker improvements.  This bike lane completes a north-south pathway between the City limit and the lakefront.  It also connects the business and residential areas on both ends of Whittaker Street.

 

Wider sidewalks allow for a welcoming pedestrian environment and ADA compliant access.  Benches, planters, trees and other streetscaping elements will be installed.  Businesses will be able to take advantage by having outdoor spaces for café areas or merchandise display.

 

The project will also include significant water main, sewer and drainage improvements.

 

Click the link below to see the rendering.

Option 2 Renderings

 


At the March 22nd Open House on the N. Whittaker Project, a formal presentation was given by Houseal Lavigne, along with Abonmarche, and Landscape Architects.  The agenda included an overview of each configuration option with its benefits and details.  An open discussion period was held for the community to review renderings and learn more about the project.


The City Council has approved a contract with Abonmarche Consultants to move forward with the redevelopment of North Whittaker Street from Buffalo St to Mechanic St.  Included in the scope of work will be the reconstruction of Whittaker Street with utility work, new pavement, widened sidewalks, and streetscaping items.  Minor improvements may also be completed on adjacent streets, including parking reconfiguration and repairs of sidewalk, curb and pavements.

 

In 2013, a plan was chosen from the Business Improvement District's Downtown Streetscape Plan.  Due to the length of time elapsed with no further action, this new design team has been selected to pick up where the previous study left off.

 

Target dates and goals include:

March 2016 - Preliminary concept plans for review

March 2016 through April 2016 - Review of concepts by DDA, Planning Commission, City Council, and the public

May 2016 - Final selection of concept plan and approval for design

September 2016 - Complete construction drawings and begin bidding process

Fall 2016 through Fall 2017 - Construction of project     

 


PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND HISTORY

 

In August 2009, the Business Improvement District Board of Directors conducted a Downtown Study.  This Study was based upon results of a downtown survey which was posted online, noticed in newspapers, mailed to a sample of 678 resident households (153 responses; 23%), given to 62 students, and 18 downtown businesses were interviewed personally.  A grant from the Pokagon Fund made this study possible.
 
The results from this Downtown Study were used by the Business Improvement District (BID) Board of Directors to create the BID's Downtown Streetscape Plan, completed January 2010.

 

The City Council approved Option 3 from the Downtown Streetscape Plan in 2013 which included reducing the total number of driving lanes to two, keeping the angled parking on both sides with a buffer lane, and widening the sidewalks.

 

Other infrastructure elements included a full street reconstruction of North Whittaker from the U.S. Route 12 intersection up to the Amtrak railroad, and Mechanic Street from Whittaker to Townsend, with new sanitary sewer collection lines, water mains, storm drains, burying overhead utility lines, and streetscape amenities.