Special project could yield new sidewalks on Avenue G


FORT MADISON – As part of the city’s renovations of the waste water treatment plant’s state revolving funds, the city may be eligible for money to do some renovations on Avenue G sidewalks, according to a project specialist working with the city.

At Monday’s Fort Madison City Council meeting, the possibility of the project was brought to light by a project specialist from Cedar Rapids.

The funds for the treatment plant renovations came from a state revolving loan fund and Tim Cutsforth, a project manager with HRGreen of Cedar Rapids, said 10% of the loan funds are eligible for a sponsored project grant, provided that submitted projects are aimed at water and sewer water quality. He said the funds for the project come in the form of a forgivable loan, which makes it a competitive process.

“Only about 25% of applicants received money last year,” Cutsforth said. “However, we’ve been pretty fortunate that 100% of the projects we’ve submitted, we’ve been able to get and we’ve heard quite a bit about downtown sidewalks here. Lots of questions about how we fix them, make them better down there, and how to pay for them.”

He said this project may provide a potential opportunity to fix those issues.

The project would look at replacing sidewalks, and possibly curbing, on Avenue G from Sixth to 10th Streets.

The project would put concrete from the building facings out six feet into a 12-foot sidewalk.  The outer six feet between the concrete and the curbing would be brick pavers that are gapped to allow water to permeate the brick surfacing down into a stone bedding and then, ultimately, a sub drain below the stone.

Cutsforth said the stones would be under a sublayer that the pavers would sit on and there would be pea gravel in between the pavers to allow the water to seep through.

The larger stones, about 3″ stones, would allow the water to slowly spread into the surrounding ground and water from heavy rainfall would go through the rocks and into the subdrain that would take the water into the city sanitary water.

The sponsored project would cost about $1.55 million of which the city would only be responsible for roughly $23,000.

Councilman Mark Lair asked if the project would include new curbs. Cutsforth said the program would pay to replace anything that is disturbed during the project like sidewalks, lights, benches, etc. but said curbing could be included in the initial application, but he wasn’t sure if it would be approved. He did say, however, that if the curbing is in such disrepair that the pavers would sit against them, they could, possibly, be approved.

City Public Works director Larry Driscoll said he would recommend that the city look at bidding for new curbing if the city were approved for the sponsored project.

Cutsforth said the application process, which the council approved to purse with a 5-0 vote, would take six months, and the project itself could be completed in a single construction season.

HRGreen senior project manager Tim Cutsforth outlines a potential project that could help with sidewalks on Avenue G in downtown Fort Madison. The project would put new concrete and semi-permeable pavers along the curbs to help with water conservation and drainage in the area. The city council approved moving ahead with the application process for the project. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC.


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