7th Street West Reconstruction Project

Schedule Public Information Meeting March 2, 2023 Set Bid Letting Date March 6 Receive Bids April 6 Public Hearing & Award Contract April 17 Begin Construction June Complete Utility and Gravel Street Construction Fall Complete Concrete Roadway Construction Summer 2024 Final Assessment November 2024
CRESCO - About 20 property owners along 7th St. West from Highway 9 to 4th Ave. and 10 city representatives attended the reconstruction informational meeting on Thursday, March 2.
Darren Sikkink and Scott Huneke of WHKS gave a power point presentation explaining the project.
To save money, the roadway width will be reduced from 36 to 31 feet on 7th St. It will remain at 36 feet from Hwy. 9 500 feet north, allowing more space for the much-used intersection.
Watermain and services and sanitary sewer and services will be replaced. 
In addition, the storm sewer will be replaced and upsized to handle larger storm events. This will also include eliminating storm sewer discharging into a sinkhole south and west of 4th St. (The DNR first brought up the sink hole back in 1987, which has not been fixed.) 
Neil Shaffer of NRCS noted, “We did the dye test about seven years ago and saw that this sink hole feeds springs in Silver Creek, Chihak Creek and Vernon Springs. The key thing about sink holes it is a direct interaction of surface water and ground water. 
“By eliminating the diversion of storm water discharge into the sinkhole will be a great improvement not only to the spring water in the area but also an improvement to our ground water, which eventually feeds our community wells used for drinking water.”
Construction will cross Hwy. 9 and continue to a storm management basin [pond] at the airport.
At a Dec. 5, 2022 public hearing, property owners along 7th St. could air their opinions on the project. 
Some were complaints about the assessment on their properties. The assessment would only include 50% of the assessable street cost and would not include any water, sewer, intersections or any extra costs. The City of Cresco would be responsible for that. The assessment given to the property owners will not go up in price, even if the project cost increases.
Construction impacts
Sikkink told property owners, “There will be times there is a big hole in front of your house. It will be filled at the end of the day. We will work to get people in and out of their properties. We will also need to get into your house when we are doing the water main.”
During utility and concrete work, property owners may need to park on a side street. Driveways will be reconstructed with a five foot concrete apron added.
Water shutdowns will be necessary and a temporary water service will be available.
Some trees in the boulevard may need to be removed. If someone has a sentimental attachment to a particular tree, the engineers will try to work with the property owner.
Temporary mailboxes will be available, and garbage pickup will be modified.
Pavement removal and utility installation south of 2nd Ave. will take place before the Mighty Howard County Fair (June 21-25, 2023). This means 2nd Ave. to 4th Ave. will be undisturbed until after the fair.
All pavement will be removed and utilities installed by November 2023. The road will be gravel over the winter to let it settle.Pavement between 2nd and 4th Ave. will be completed prior to the 2024 Fair, and the rest completed that summer.
Public input
Aaron Wemark, who has a construction business on 7th St., said a turning lane at Hwy. 9 would be good. “It’s been a problem for us with a big semi. There is a post and fire hydrant in the way, as well.”
Tom Barnes of Howard County Fair Board agreed. “It gets bottled up there.”
Sikkink answered, “That would be up to the council.” It was mentioned a stop light at the intersection would make a difference.
Zach Gooder asked if talking to the recipients of the increased water was ever done? The answer was no. 
“That is unfortunate because we just spent $25,000 on a new waterway to fix the current water draining from the city, and now we maybe should’ve done it differently after hearing this. If it causes problems down the road, is there any recourse?”
He was told there should be less runoff. 
Regarding the airport, Huneke explained WHKS talked to the FAA. Sand is going to be put in the pond, located on the southeast section of the airport (past the city pound), which means the runoff should be absorbed or downstream in two days.
Mike Gooder of Plantpeddler was concerned about the excess water south of Hwy. 9, where part of the plant-growing business is located. “You can’t change the watershed. We will take the current watershed, but we won’t take water from a different watershed. We will not allow it.”
Homeowner Brandon Plaht wondered if the road is thick enough for the traffic.
Huneke said the current road is six inches thick, “And that’s what we are putting back.”
Gary Gooder of Alum-Line was concerned about the plan to reduce heavy traffic on 7th Ave. “We have 1-2 freight trucks per day. They are going on that road.” He noted if there was a different truck route, it would put miles on the distance to get to his plant.
Council and WHKS will continue to take suggestions, but it will be better to do so sooner rather than later.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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