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Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois Engineering and Architecture

Rhutasel and Associates, Inc., Calumet Street project, Centralia

By KATE GENO
P17 CentraliaA long view of the Calumet Street project in Centralia, which should be done later this year.    Rhutasel and Associates, Inc. has been instrumental in the plans and progress to improve a busy roadway in Centralia.
    The Calumet Street and Airport Road project has a construction cost of $3.7 million and will be completed in mid-2015. The project was funded entirely with FHWA Surface Transportation Urban Funds and Illinois Jobs Now funds, which were both administered by Illinois Department of Transportation. Rhutasel and Associates worked on the final plans and specifications for 1.54 miles of roadway reconstruction and 1.29 miles of roadway resurfacing.
    The asphalt resurfacing is taking place on Calumet from Poplar to Oakdale.  The reconstruction work is located on Lincoln from Calumet to 13th Street; on Calumet from Oakdale to Airport Road; and on Airport Road from Calumet to Illinois Route 161.
    The roads lead to high-traffic locales including an elementary school, Centralia High School, Kaskaskia Community College, churches, businesses and Centralia Municipal Airport. Close coordination with the schools and airport has been required to maintain adequate access during construction.
    “In the past, the roadway was very narrow and there were deep ditches along the side of the road, which made it unsafe for drivers. Accidents were not uncommon,” says Mark Rujawitz, senior project engineer. “As a result, safety is a key factor in this project. The new street will be safer for drivers, especially for the students that use this route often.”
    The street will feature a new storm sewer pipe and inlets, new concrete curbs and gutters, asphalt paving, driveway repair, concrete sidewalks, turn lanes and bike lanes.
    Construction began with heavy excavation and trenching work to eliminate the deep ditches. Rhutasel and Associates is providing construction services, such as staking, materials testing and construction inspection.
    According to Rujawitz, the project is 70 percent complete. Rhutasel and Associates meets with IDOT, the City of Centralia and general contractor Hanks Excavating on a regular basis to ensure the project is progressing smoothly.
    “The cooperation among the team has been very efficient,” says Rujawitz. “Our company has worked with the City of Centralia in the past and it is always a great working relationship. The city residents are welcoming the improvements and have been very accommodating and patient as well.”
    Rhutasel and Associates is a multi-disciplinary consulting engineering and land surveying professional services firm. A wide array of clients is served including municipal, county, state and federal government agencies.