Mike Kardas, City Senior Engineer, just announced that recent project delays have been overcome and the project is again moving forward although little evidence is publicly visible. Delays occurred while minor issues were resolved in environmental documents as well as unavoidable delays in the right-of-way
The environmental clearance was finally received last week. Otak has completed and submitted the "60% design plans" for review. That review should be completed this week. Final plans will follow completion of right-of-way acquisition around the end of the year.
A new schedule is now available showing a plan to have the project ready for advertisement right around the New Year 2013.
City staff is working with its project design consultant, Otak, and Otak’s subconsultant, Universal Field Services (UFS), to begin the preliminary work for right-of-way acquisition. This process is guided by stringent state and federal laws designed to assure that both owners and tenants of those properties that are subject to acquisition in order to construct the project are appropriately protected and receive fair compensation for the impacts on their properties, homes and businesses. No actual acquisitions will proceed until the environmental documents are cleared, estimated at this time to be mid September 2011.
UFS has sent or will be soon sending a copy of this linked document that outlines that process to all the affected owners and tenants. If you do not receive one, you are probably not directly affected. If you know that the property you have an interest in will be subject to acquisition, either in part or in its entirety, but have not received one of these by April 25, please let us know.
A Council Workshop was held to brief the members on the status of the project, to bring them up to date on both its history and progress. (Click here for a PDF copy of the presentation). With receipt of the TIB grant, Phase I and Phase II have been combined into Project 1. The contract with Otak has been revised to complete the additional engineering and design work to take Project 1 to construction, likely in 2013, maybe as early as 2012.
Environmental documents are nearing completion. When that work is completed and a NEPA approval given, acquisition of right-of-way is planned to begin. Right-of-way acquisition procedures are carefully spelled out in both State and Federal law. Property owners and tenants will be notified before any direction acquisition actions are taken, and provided specific information about the impacts to their property, as well as their rights to compensation.