The Wellington Village Council approved engineering design services on Wednesday with Mock, Roos & Associates for intersection improvements at Pierson Road and South Shore Blvd. that will involve covering and piping the C-23 Canal.
Village staff sought authorization to utilize a contract previously approved with Mock, Roos & Associates to provide the necessary engineering services for the C-23 Canal improvements, as well as the development of an intersection master plan for Pierson and South Shore.
It is anticipated that the resulting master plan project will be included for council consideration in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The village seeks to coordinate its work with work already planned for the intersection by other entities so that the area undergoes construction activity only once.
The canal covering and piping is required to allow the needed area to widen and improve the intersection lane alignment and the turn lane improvements, including the length and number of lanes, required to move traffic more efficiently and safely through the intersection. The cost of the engineering services with Mock, Roos & Associates is not to exceed $49,871.
Village Engineer Tom Lundeen said the eastbound and westbound approaches on Pierson Road have a combination through and left-turn lane and one right turn lane.
“What we’re proposing to do with this work order is to improve this intersection with dual left-turn lanes on the east approach, with a through lane and a right-turn lane. The west approach would have just a single through lane, right turn lane and left-turn lane,” Lundeen said.
The overall project would be 1,400 to 1,600 feet long. “That will be determined once we get through the study and into design,” Lundeen said.
Councilman Michael Napoleone asked what the timeline would be for the actual construction that would affect traffic, not including the pipe work.
Lundeen said that once they get the canal piped, that area can be used to maintain traffic flow.
“We’d keep the lanes open at what they are right now,” he said. “I’m making the assumption that it’s going to take us six months to do all this work once we get the pipe in the canal.”
Some intersection work is already required as part of the approvals associated with the nearby Equestrian Village site.
Councilman Michael Drahos asked about the status of the other work being done at the intersection, and Village Manager Paul Schofield said his goal would be to merge all the work together into one project controlled by the village.
“What our request to them is going to be is that rather than do those improvements, they simply provide the money to us, and we do it as one seamless contract,” Schofield said. “But they are required under their approval to have the work done before we would be in a position to start.”
Lundeen said the scope of the engineering contract work would include sizing the pipe and final design of the lanes, which could change slightly as the work progresses. “It might shift to the north a little,” he said. “The turn lanes might get a little bit longer, but they’re going to be doing the preliminary engineering and master planning of the intersection.”
Drahos said one of the concerns that the council has discussed is that the project cannot go on during the equestrian season. He asked Lundeen about his plan so that they do not overlap.
Lundeen proposed splitting the project into two phases, with the first being to pipe the canal. “Once we get the canal piped, then we can put the traffic on where the new pipe is, and then you can build the south half of the intersection,” he said. “We can just be shifting traffic around to do that.”
The pipe work should take three to four months, and once next season is over, they will have a contractor on board ready to build part of the roadway, he said, adding that he would like to start the pipe work next January, which would not hamper seasonal traffic.
Napoleone made a motion to approve the work, which carried 4-0 with Mayor Anne Gerwig recusing herself due to work affiliations.
In other business, the council approved a two-year extension to Village Attorney Laurie Cohen’s contract under the same terms as her previous agreement.