Detour signs still mark the Highway 3 west construction work in Le Mars because the new asphalt surface is being removed and replaced.
Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel provided the update on the $1,058,309 project to widen and resurface the state highway located within city limits.
The road construction project begun May 1 is from the intersection of Highway 75 and Plymouth Street and extends west to the east ramp of Highway 75/60.
Specifications for the highway paving included a smoothness criteria for the road surface that was not meet, Langel said.
Grinding down the rough surface of the asphalt pavement to improve the smoothness was not a solution, he added.
"It was deemed the only effective way of correcting it would be to mill off an inch and a half of pavement surface and to put back an inch and a half of asphalt," Langel said.
Barkley Asphalt, of Sioux City, started removing the asphalt Thursday and is expected to complete the work today (Friday), he said.
"They're hoping to asphalt the new surface on Saturday and continue Monday and wrap it up on Wednesday of next week," Langel said.
Barkley Asphalt was hired by the general contractor for the highway paving project, Godbersen-Smith Construction of Ida Grove.
Highway 3 has been closed to through traffic since May 1. The closing temporarily eliminated one of the three entrances to Le mars from the Highway 75 Bypass.
Langel said the highway may be open to traffic late next week.
"If the asphalt work is done on Wednesday, then the final step would be the striping of the pavement to mark the center lane, edge lane and turning lanes," he said.
The project added right-turn lanes at the entrance to the Riverview Ball Complex and at 16th Avenue Northwest.
Seeding the new shoulders of the highway is a project the city's public works department staff will complete because it affects primarily city property.
Due to dry conditions, Langel said he's instructed the city staff not to begin the work until well into September when temperatures and rainfall might be more favorable to growing new seed.
The contractor's 75 days to complete the project ended Monday, Langel said.
As of Tuesday, (Aug. 14) Godbersen-Smith Construction has been charged $1,000 for each day the work is not completed.
The penalty will be deducted from the final payment for the work, according to Langel.