The number 13, it brings with it some ambiguity. On one hand, 13 is associated with unfortunate events and unfavorable luck. On the other hand, a new year, 2013, brings with it good fortune and the hope of a bright future. For local officials, they are hoping the latter is the case for all the projects planned over the next 12 months.
One of the bigger projects is renovations to Vandenburg Avenue in Wellington.
"Vandenburg will be totally improved, we will have the ability to accompany truck traffic," " said City Manager, Gus Collins. "That will probably begin in 60 to 75 days, then it will take four to five months to complete." The Vandenburg project will cost over two million dollars, with the State paying for 80 percent as the City picks up the rest.
Lincoln Street will look brand new again in the coming year, with the City absorbing 100 percent of the $750,000 cost. The construction will go from Woodlawn all the way to the East City limits. People may recall that in 2012, the City spent half a million dollars replacing the water lines in that area. That project was in anticipation of the 2013 venture.
Also towards the East, on 16th Street, the area in front of the high school will be widened, so traffic doesn't bottle neck.
"That will be the same width from Day Street, past Wal-Mart," Collins explained. On 15th Street from Pizza Hut to O'Riley's Auto Parts, there will be a mill and overlay project in 2013, similar to other segments of 15th that have been resurfaced in the recent past. The 3rd Street bridge is also going to be completely redone in 2013.
Moving off of the roads, Safe Routes to School, a $250,000 project will be bid out this month to improve sidewalks around local elementary schools in Wellington.
There is a new bathroom and showering facility being put in on the East side of Wellington Lake this year.
Renovations to Memorial Auditorium will also continue well into 2013.
"It looks great, we're over 50 percent done," Collins said. The City Council will soon revisit the options on the air conditioning for the building.
Another project that will be happening this year has to do with lighting at some of Wellington's ball fields. Rock Island's South softball field will have brand new lights along with field three at Worden Park.
"That will give us three diamonds that will be lighted and hopefully give us opportunities for more tournaments," Collins said. Those projects are being done in partnership with the Wellington Rec Commission.
Other than these things, Collins said the City will continue to focus on the development of the East corridor. Hopefully '13 will be a lucky year for Wellington.