Street Construction Due To Begin
Stop lights at Main and Broadway, downtown Emmetsburg, are now four-way stop. The traffic lights are flashing red and stop signs will be placed at the intersection.
The Iowa Department of Transportation has two projects in downtown Emmetsburg.
“There will be two different crews working,” said Bill Dickey, public works director, addressing Emmetsburg City Council last week. “I wish I could tell you their plan of attack. It’s changed daily so I can’t tell you what’s going to be done first.”
One crew will be working on ADA handicap accessible ramps on sidewalks. This work will be on Broadway between Main and 14th Street, and also on Main between Lake and Union.
The other crew will be doing milling and overlay. The top layer of asphalt will be milled off and replaced with asphalt overlay. This work is in the same area: on Broadway between Main and 14th Street, and on Main between Lake and Union.
“The traffic light will be a four-way stop until the end of construction,” said Dickey.
Councilman Brian Campbell asked if traffic will be detoured.
“They’re going to attempt to sign to get all the trucks to take the bypasses, but they are going to leave the roads open where they will do the inside lanes and then the outside lanes,” Dickey explained. “That’s the plan as of today (Monday, Aug. 13).”
City Administrator John Bird asked if the Chamber had been made aware of the parking situation.
“We have visited,” said Dickey. “The parking area will be milled out and it will probably be real narrow so drivers won’t be able to park there.”
“I just wanted the merchants to be aware that there will be a period of time there’s not going to be parking,” said Bird.
“The sad thing is, I really can’t tell them how long,” added Dickey. “Realistically it will be a couple of days.”
Campbell asked about cross street access, such as 10th and 11th Streets. “Is this going to be maintained or is that going to be blocked, too” he asked.
“They’re going to be blocked at some time,” answered Dickey. “They (DOT)?asked if they could close different intersections down so they didn’t have to use a flag person at each end. When I was at the meeting I discouraged that. They’re going to need some place to park. If they close down the side streets and they close down the parking downtown, then there’s no place to park. So I encouraged them we need to leave it open as much as we possibly can. But there are going to be times when they will be closed.”
Paving at Kearney Park is scheduled, for now, to begin Sept. 17.
“We had originally told the State of Iowa that we wanted to wait until the first of October for a number of reasons, not the least of which is we didn’t want to close down the campground,” John Bird told members of Emmetsburg City Council last week. “The State of Iowa failed to put a start date in the contract documents, so the contractor, who was the low bidder, was going to begin today (Monday, Aug. 13). They had to be out by Labor Day and we actually posted a sign saying that the campground would be closed between Aug. 13 and the Friday of Labor Day weekend. The contractor was at a different location and wouldn’t get started until a week later. We told them they couldn’t because we felt the campground had to be open over Labor Day weekend. So, as of now, they will start on Sept. 17. Then Bill (Dickey) will attempt to close the campground down just a couple of weeks earlier than we normally would.”
Councilman Campbell asked if there is any infrastructure underneath that needs to be moved.
He said there is a gas line under a portion of the street, and an old force sewer main, but nothing that needs to be moved.
“We think it best that they go ahead and do the project,” noted Bird. “When it comes time for community center construction we can combine the shower and restroom facility and the community center on one lift.”
Campbell asked about cost to the city for this project.
“None,” answered Bird. “It’s actually DOT?money and DNR money. We applied for this back in 1995 or 1996 and were put on a five-year list and it just kept getting bumped back.”
Bird explained the project: The roadway will be about as wide as it is today. Coming off Lawler, the road will go all the way down through the campground to a teardrop turn around at the end of the campground near the bridge. The road will also go up past the showers and around the turn-around.
“We never did request that (turn-around area) to be done, but they said once they are here they might as well,” said Bird. “We didn’t argue.
City Administrator Bird told the council that the city has submitted a REAP?Grant application.
“We are hoping to obtain funding from the REAP program to help us with the assistance of property near the lake,”‘ he said. “The purchase offer that we made is contingent on us receiving the REAP?grant dollars.”
Bird said that the REAP?Board will meet Sept. 11 to decide on the awards. He plans to attend that meeting.