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home : news : news Friday, June 24, 2016

3/29/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Checking the details. Residents affected by the 8th Street reconstruction project beginning in June look over detailed plans at a public information meeting Monday night. Going over plans with engineer Geoff Blandin is resident Leo Fier (left).
Residents hear plans for 8th Street paving project

By Linda Watson
News Editor

The reconstruction of 8th Street and East 8th Street from 3rd Avenue to the Clinton County Fairgrounds will take all summer and most of the fall, residents learned at an information meeting Monday night.

About 20 people affected by the $793,000 project showed up for the meeting at city hall and had a chance to look over detailed drawings with the city's engineering firm and the project contractor, KE Flatwork of Eldridge.

The exact schedule will be finalized in a few weeks to determine which portion will be started first. The work will be done in two segments, beginning in June after school lets out.

The 200-day contract calls for the street and sidewalks to be completed by Nov. 21. After that date, penalties would be assessed to the contractor. Some seeding and final cleanup work may be delayed until the following spring.

"We'll do our best to accommodate the homeowners in the project," city administrator Steve Lindner said. "But there is going to be inconvenience. There's no way around it."

Geoff Blandin of IIW Engineers & Surveyors Inc. explained the work will include street paving and 6-inch barrier curbs, replacement of most of the sanitary sewer lines and about half of the water mains to go from 4-inch to 8-inch mains.

No trees will be removed, but city workers will check for any ash trees that may need to be removed or treated for emerald ash borer.

Most of the existing sidewalks will be kept, but new sidewalks will be installed where there are none. New sidewalks will be paid half by the city and half by the property owner. New curb ramps will be installed at intersections to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Lois Block, maintenance director of the Clinton County Fairgrounds, asked about sidewalks to be installed on the south side of the fairgrounds. The Clinton County Fair Board is exempt from being charged for the sidewalks under a previous agreement with the city, Lindner confirmed.

These streets and intersections are affected:

•Eighth Street will be closed to through traffic during the entire project, but the section next to the fairgrounds will remain open during the fair, July 16-20. Public works director Matt Proctor said the city council will be asked to temporarily limit parking on 10th Street to keep traffic flowing on the east side of DeWitt.

•Third Avenue will be closed to through traffic while the entire intersection of 3rd Avenue and 8th Street is reconstructed.

•One-lane traffic will be maintained at the 2nd Avenue intersection to allow access to about 15 houses on Roshell Court and East 7th Street.

The most heated discussion centered on the 31-foot width of 8th Street, which sees high traffic from the schools, fairgrounds events and football and soccer games.

Several in the audience believed the width to be a safety concern, requiring vehicles to maneuver around parked cars. With no curbs along some areas, people currently can park in the right of way and leave a wider path for traffic.

Tom McManus, who lives on the street, asked what needed to be done to widen the street to make it safer. "We're losing functionality," he said.

Lindner responded that the contract calls for the street to be 31 feet wide, which is standard for residential streets in the city. Eighth Street in that area currently ranges from 30 to 35 feet wide, he said.

Other questions centered on where residents can park and how long they will lose access. Proctor said most should be able to access their driveways until crews are working right next to their property or when concrete is being poured and drying.

"You'll be surprised how often you'll be able to get to your driveway," Blandin said.

Before and after photographs will be taken of sidewalks in the project area to determine whether any extraneous damage has occurred during the work.

One resident asked about access for emergency vehicles. The contract requires space be allowed in the project area for emergency vehicles, and fire hydrants also will stay in operation.

At private residences, driveway approaches and courtesy walks will be replaced with concrete, no matter what material currently is there, Blandin said. Driveways will be replaced between the street and the sidewalk at the same size currently there, but the homeowner can work with the contractor and pay approximately $6 per square foot for a wider approach, up to 31 feet.

Water and sanitary service will be maintained to each household until the point hookup work is needed. Individual service hookups will be installed at the street for multi-family properties to hook up to in the future.

A few homeowners will be required to replace lead water pipes or substandard sewer lines leading to the private residence at their own cost.

As far as garbage removal during the project, the contractor will move residents' garbage bins to a central pickup place on garbage day and return them to individual residences, officials said.

Proctor also noted Alliant Energy plans to replace natural gas lines along 8th Street in its own project this summer while the other work is being done.

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