Van Buren approves sidewalks and street improvements, Beyerle Family recognized

Ty Thompson
Press Argus-Courier
Van Buren Mayor Joe Hurst presented a glass plaque to the family of Greg Beyerle who died earlier this year. Beyerle worked the city for 20 years in the Street Department.

The Van Buren City Council met on Monday to discuss the addition of a sidewalk on Northridge Drive, as well as improvements to North 20th Street.

Before the meeting began, Mayor Joe Hurst presented the family of Greg Beyerle with a glass plaque in his honor. Beyerle died on Feb. 15, 2021.

"He left an indelible mark on all of us," Hurst said. 

Beyerle began a career as a printer in the 1970s, first at The Courier and then at Transcript. In 2001, he began working as a traffic technician for the Van Buren Street Department where he worked for 20 years.

Sidewalk Resolution

Resolution 5-02-2021 states that the city will use federal aid transportation alternatives funds to construct a sidewalk on Northridge Drive in Van Buren. 

The pointer trail sidewalk project was utilized by using the same funds in the past. 

"I know you're familiar with Northridge drive and the new Oliver Springs Elementary School, and even further to the west is the Northridge Middle School," Wally Bailey, planning director, said. "We were approached by the assistant principal of the school telling us about the need for more sidewalks."

According to Bailey, there is a number of students that walk to school. 

Around 2,350 feet of sidewalk will be placed on the east side of Highway 59 as well as improvements made to crosswalks as well as ramps for accessibility requirements. 

The estimated construction cost for this project is $345,950. According to the resolution, The funds available will cover 80% federal participation and 20% local match. 

The resolution was approved by the council.

North 20th Street improvements

The city council voted to enter into a contract with Hawkins-Weir to provide engineering services for North 20th Street improvements. The improvements include street overlay and drainage.

Payment for this project will not exceed $122,520. 

This project began in 2019 and was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The time frame for the construction is eight months. As construction has already begun the work should be finished in about seven and a half months. 

The 20th street improvements are part of a larger project that includes Dora Road, Harrison Street, and James Court as well. 

From the Leek Creek Market gas station to Kalei Lane, the Dora Road project began in April. The Harrison Street section of the project will stretch from west of North 20th street down Harrison Street. This is expected to begin in the summer. Finally, from the cul-de-sac on James Court to South 40th Street will begin construction in late summer or early fall.

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Overall, the entire project is expected to take 120 days to complete.