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City officials last week gave the engineer the go-ahead to complete the construction documents for the Cherry Street upgrade and put the project out for bids.
The decision occurred at the Monticello City Council meeting on Tuesday evening, Dec. 3, following a brief presentation by engineer Josh Baxley, of Dewberry Engineering, Inc.
Baxley's report, titled North Cherry Street Hardscape Improvements, presented updated plans for the upgrade plus cost estimates for the project.
Baxley noted that an “as-built” survey did not have to be included, which he said would reduce the total cost by $6,500. He also noted that the plans were based on historic data from the last project, meaning the Dogwood Street upgrade.
The trees and benches, Baxley said, could be factored into the project at later date. As for the light poles, he said that Duke Energy might be donating them, hence he had removed their cost from the projections.
The preliminary figures show a total cost of $128,120.78 for the upgrade, including the contractor's mobilization, sidewalks, brick pavers, trees and tree wells and water and irrigation lines.
City officials set their sights on improving the section of Cherry Street between Dogwood and Pearl streets at the start of this year as part of the effort to spruce up the downtown. The idea, as city officials have stated it, is to create a mirror image of Dogwood street, with wide sidewalk, benches, brick pavers and planted trees.
Separate but integral to the effort is the resurfacing of Pearl Street from Mulberry Street on its west end to Railroad Street on the east, a project that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is funding through its Small Cities Outreach Program.
In August, the FDOT awarded the city $210,505 for the resurfacing, which Dewberry Engineering is designing. The project has a completion date of June 30, 2020.
The Pearl Street resurfacing, along with the Dogwood and Cherry streets' improvements are part of an overall city effort to attract visitors and enhance the town's economic vitality.