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updated: 7/31/2015 5:12 PM

At last, Batavia digs in to Houston Street remodel

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  • Houston Street will be closed, starting Monday, from Batavia to  Island avenues, for three months as the road is rebuilt and sidewalks, lights, stormwater sewers are replaced.

      Houston Street will be closed, starting Monday, from Batavia to Island avenues, for three months as the road is rebuilt and sidewalks, lights, stormwater sewers are replaced.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Houston Street, between Island and Batavia avenues, is the site for the start, and sometimes the end, of popular races, such as the Half-Madness Half-Marathon and the Fox and the Turkey Trot.

    Houston Street, between Island and Batavia avenues, is the site for the start, and sometimes the end, of popular races, such as the Half-Madness Half-Marathon and the Fox and the Turkey Trot.
    Daily Herald file photo, 2010

 
 

The long-discussed, designed-redesigned-and-redesigned-again repair and remodeling of Houston Street in downtown Batavia is poised to start.

The section, from Batavia to Island avenues, will be closed to traffic -- including bicycles and pedestrians -- starting Monday. City officials expect the project will not be finished until late October or early November.

Drivers will be able to cross Houston at Water Street and at Island Avenue.

Fox River Trail users will have to take a detour to cross the Fox River. Instead of traveling along a path on the north side of Houston, they will use Wilson Street.

It is the third downtown streetscape project. North River Street was done in 2012, and Wilson Street was done in 2013 and 2014.

Contracts for the work were let July 20. Construction is expected to cost $2.76 million. That does not include the costs of engineering, design and construction management.

The pavement will be rebuilt. Soil contaminated by oil and fuel from a fuel company that was located years ago at Houston and Water Street will be trucked away. New storm sewers will be installed.

Wider sidewalks will be put in, and ornamental streetlights. Bumpouts will be installed on the roadsides. Some will hold pedestrians, shortening the amount of street they have to cross. Others will be landscaped.

All businesesses, the Depot Museum and the Batavia Government Center will remain open during construction, via their Island, Water or Wilson entrances.

Although it does not carry as much car traffic as Wilson, streetscape planners believe Houston is a major "gateway" to the downtown, as the museum, the Riverwalk (where festivals are held) and the government center are along it, and the street ends almost directly across from the Peace Bridge bicycle/pedestrian bridge.

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