Council looks at Central Avenue overlay project

Monday, November 13, 2017

LE MARS The Le Mars City Council gave its approval to preliminary plans and estimate of cost for the 2018 Central Avenue PPC Overlay Project.

At the Tuesday, Nov. 7 council meeting, Pat Bickett from Schlotfeldt Engineering, gave the council an overview of the preliminary plans that have been submitted to the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT).

The project will follow IDOT bidding procedures and timeline.

Final plans are to be submitted by Nov. 21, with a bid letting of either Feb. 20 or March 20, 2018.

Depending on the bid letting date, the council would award the contract on either March 6 or April 3.

The project will be funded by 80 percent federal dollars and 20 percent local dollars.

The area covered is Central Avenue from Third Street South to Third Street North. On the south, it meets work done on Central Avenue South more than five years ago.

At its Sept. 5 meeting, the council approved a resolution to enter into a Federal Aid Agreement with the IDOT for the PCC overlay.

Bickett anticipates the work will be done in four phases, but more than one phase may be worked on at the same time.

The street surface will be milled. In the downtown area, the center 36-foot width will be PCC with the area closer to the parking area finished with asphalt.

When asked about a start date, Bickett said a potential start date of May 1 could be moved earlier into April depending on weather conditions.

Council members expressed their concern about the street work and its potential impact on Ice Cream Days activities and particularly the parade.

Bickett said the city would likely get better bids if the work was done early in the construction season.

Another concern of the council was the detour routes, as Central Avenue is heavily used by truck traffic within the city.

Council member Rex Knapp said the detours and turn areas must be clearly marked for that traffic, as well as some parking spots being blocked off to aid in trucks turning.

Because it is a federal aid project, work is also subject to the affect on historical buildings in the historical district. Bickett said the concern with historic buildings is the vibrations from equipment may cause damage to the buildings. Monitoring equipment will need to be installed in the buildings to keep tabs on vibrations.

The project cost is estimated at $735,000.

Bickett said at this point, IDOT is working on details before the final plans may be submitted.

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