JOLIET – The Joliet Gateway Center is nearing completion, and some construction pains will be felt in the coming weeks.
Joliet Gateway Center is the name for the transportation complex being created around Union Station, which is now closed.
The uptick in the project will be evident this weekend with 48 consecutive hours of construction Sunday and Monday involving as many as 200 workers doing work on railroad bridges.
When done, the complex will include new train and bus stations, along with new parking areas and pedestrian walkways either completed or still to be done.
Lisa Dorothy, the city’s project manager for the Joliet Gateway Center, last week said the city hopes, somewhat optimistically, for a train station opening before the winter of 2016.
“We would really like to avoid a third year on the temporary [train] platform,” she said. But, Dorothy added, “A more realistic expectation is [opening in] summer of 2017.”
Bids for the train station will be opened June 15, with the start of construction likely to follow in July.
Bids on the bus station are tentatively scheduled to be opened Aug. 17, with the start of construction possibly in late September.
Dorothy said the bus station has been downsized by about 1,000 square feet to meet budget.
The station now is 2,854 square feet.
The city last week also announced a schedule of closings for streets, walkways and parking lots through June 19 related to major work on the railroad bridges at Jefferson, New and Osgood streets.
Dorothy noted the closings will affect Silver Cross Field, where the Slammers have a home opener May 19 and the Illinois High School Association has its annual baseball tournament June 12 and 13.
The Jefferson Street replacement is a massive project, City Manager Jim Hock said.
“All that steel is going to come out, and it’s going to be replaced with new steel,” Hock said.
Details on the street, sidewalk and parking lot closings, along with more information about Joliet Gateway Center, are posted on the city website, cityofjoliet.info.
City schedule of closings during the Jefferson Street railroad bridge project
• May 7 to 22: Osgood Street and sidewalks closed between St. Louis and York Streets.
• May 7 to 22: New Street pedestrian tunnel closed.
• May 9 to 20: New Street parking lot closed.
• May 11 to June 11: Mayor Art Schultz Drive closed between Clinton Street and Van Buren Street and also between Jefferson Street and Washington Street. However, the northbound lane of Mayor Art Schultz Drive from Washington Street to the alley will remain open to allow access to the temporary Metra ticket office.
• May 11: The monthly permit commuter parking lot at the corner of Jefferson Street and Mayor Art Schultz Drive permanently closed.
• June 4 to 12: Osgood Street and sidewalks closed between St. Louis and York Streets.
• June 4 to 12: New Street pedestrian tunnel closed.
• June 4 to 19: Jefferson Street and sidewalks closed between Scott Street and Mayor Art Schultz Drive. Pedestrians can use the Van Buren Street sidewalk at any time or the existing Union Station pedestrian tunnel during normal business hours of 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Source: City of Joliet