Jefferson City and Cole County officials celebrated this month the completion of $2.8 million in improvements to a half-mile stretch of East High Street on the city’s east side.
Mayor Carrie Tergin and Presiding County Commissioner Sam Bushman made remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city and county staff as well as construction crews and others that participated in the project.
The project, which has been discussed since 2003, primarily made improvements to the 1100-1500 blocks of East High Street, with work in other areas such as Benton Street and Vetter Lane. The improvements included replacing curb, sidewalk, sanitary sewer system, stormwater system and street surface, as well as related work on driveways, stairs and retaining walls.
The improvements begin near Park Place Neighborhood Park and proceed to Riverside Drive, which connects to Ellis-Porter Riverside Park.
Near East Elementary School, sidewalks were installed on both sides of the street and a new crosswalk was positioned to make pedestrians more visible to motorists.
The project was jointly funded by the city and county through each entity’s half-cent sales tax for capital projects. About $638,000 came from the city’s sewer utility fund.
City officials first began discussing need for the project in 2003. In 2017, the project was reconceptualized and the city and county entered into an agreement to fund the work. In January 2020, a construction contract was approved with Aplex, Inc., of Linn, and construction began in February.
City engineer Tia Griffin oversaw the project, along with the City of Jefferson Public Works.
Also working on the project were Alford Tree Service and Jefferson Asphalt. KW Luetkemeyer Painting did the roadway markings and Schrimpf Landscaping worked on retaining walls and vegetation installations. The roadway signs were done by Warning Lites of Southern Illinois.