Written by Jack McCarthy
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00
The City of Aurora officially dedicated the new Downer Place bridges in December and ushered in two-way traffic on the downtown street for the first time in more than 50 years.
The bridge project remained on schedule and on budget.
Eighty percent of the construction and engineering costs, which totaled $7.83 million, were federally funded. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia also helped offset the city’s share even further by dedicating $500,000 of member initiative funds to this project.
“A project of this magnitude would not be possible without funding from our federal and state partners,” Mayor Tom Weisner said. “I appreciate the commitment that Representative Linda Chapa LaVia continues to show our city. By partnering together, we were able to replace aging infrastructure and enhance our downtown, while at the same time reducing the local tax burden for Aurora residents.”
The Downer Place bridge project was the first major downtown bridge rebuild that was finished in a single construction season.
The aggressive construction schedule reduced by several months the inconvenience to downtown businesses, patrons and the community than would have been experienced in the past.
While construction on the bridges is finished, work will resume next spring to complete the Downer Place streetscape project, which will beautify the downtown and protect the Fox River. Rain gardens will be installed to remove pollutants from storm water by filtering the runoff through native plantings and engineered soils prior to finding its way into the river.
The opening of the bridges also has brought two-way traffic patterns to both Downer Place and Benton Street between Broadway Avenue and Lake Street.
As part of scheduled changes involving downtown parking that will be implemented in 2013, parking meters along Downer and Benton between Broadway and Lake have been removed.
Signage has been posted alerting downtown patrons that parking will be free on Downer and Benton for up to two hours.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 15:34