Chestnut will be widened, improved

Chestnut will be widened, improved A pickup negotiates the narrow, rutted roadbed of Chestnut Street Monday afternoon. The Vermillion City Council agreed Monday to spend an estimated $1.3 million to make needed improvements to the farm-to-market road. The project includes a $900,000 retaining wall that's necessary in order for designers to widen the road to 28 feet. by David Lias The Vermillion City Council agreed Monday to seek bids for a street improvement project that may cost as much as $1.3 million.

City leaders listened to concerns voiced by property owners and by Alderman Barbara Yelverton on such issues as the project's cost, traffic numbers, safety, lighting and the project's possible impact on the environment.

Aldermen grappled with these issues for over an hour Monday night.

The council eventually decided to approve a motion to proceed with the Chestnut Street improvement project, and in its

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bid documents for the work, include the street's lighting as a bid alternate.

The portion of street under scrutiny is approximately one-half mile in length, and provides a link between Dakota and University streets.

The estimated $1.3 million price tag for the project will be funded by $600,000 of city sales tax revenue, the state of South Dakota, and Vermillion's share of Federal Surface Transportation Program funds.

The lion's share of the cost � approximately $900,000 � will be used to construct a retaining wall south of Chestnut Street between the railroad tracks. The wall is required by the railroad before the city can fill in the slope by the tracks to widen the street to 28 feet.

If a concrete slab is placed on the existing grade without filling in by the tracks, the slab would only be 15 feet wide which wouldn't provide for two lanes of traffic.

The project's design also calls for cutting into the bluff on the street's north side. The maximum cut is 11 feet at the back of the proposed curb at a point approximately 200 feet east of Dakota Street.

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