Highway 3 west from Le Mars should be open to through traffic by next week.
The $1 million construction project involved widening and resurfacing the portion of Highway 3 west within city limits.
Originally slated to be reopened for traffic in early August, the project has remained closed because the new asphalt wasn't smooth enough to meet specifications.
To correct the issue, 1 1/2 inches of the pavement surface had to be milled off and replaced, according to City Administrator Scott Langel.
Langel told the Le Mars City Council Tuesday that Barkley Asphalt, of Sioux City, should be done laying a new surface on the project by today (Wednesday).
Finishing shoulder work to match the new pavement and repainting the road markings should be done by the end of this week, he said.
Those were the final portions of the project that need to be completed before the road can be officially reopened to traffic.
Langel said crews are measuring the pavement for smoothness as it is laid, and measurements are showing good results.
"We're looking for good things on the second pass" he said.
Barkley Asphalt was hired by Godbersen-Smith Construction, of Ida Grove, the general contractor for the highway paving project.
Godbersen-Smith Construction had 75 days to complete the project, but went beyond that finish date last week.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 14 Godbersen-Smith Construction has been charged $1,000 for each day the work is not completed.
"And that will continue to be charged until we open it," Langel said.
The penalty will be deducted from the final payment for the work, he said.
The city of Le Mars is paying for the project with much of the dollars coming from a state transportation program.
At Tuesday's meeting, Councilman Ken Nelson urged Langel to be in touch with the local schools' bus barn to alert them to when the roadway will be opened, since the road construction affects many school bus routes.