BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The next phase of the city’s rehabilitation of Avenue H through Fort Madison is set to begin on April 12.
According to City Public Works Director Mark Bousselot, Jones Contracting out of West Point will begin working on the project a week from Monday.
The four-block stretch of Bus. 61 will be closed at least through Nov. 15, 2021, according to the city’s contract on the $3.3 million project.
“The road has to be open by Nov. 15, 2021, but final seeding and grass establishment will roll into 2022,” Bousselot said Thursday.
Bousselot said detour signs will be posted rerouting traffic at 6th Street back north to Avenue E and then west past 10th and back down to Avenue H.
Due to the replacement of existing utilities, roadways and sidewalks, the entire roadway will be closed. Access to all businesses along Avenue H will be maintained from Avenue G.
On Monday April 5, the city will also be working on the Pen City parking lot at the corner of 8th Street and Avenue H. That project, which is part of a storm water mitigation grant, will include semi-permeable pavers that allow storm water to seep through through the surface to reduce the amount of water running into the city’s storm sewers.
City police has bagged 2-hour parking only signs around the parking lot in downtown to help facilitate more parking spaces during the construction.
In addition, the city will also be installing two dual port electric vehicle charging stations in the lot. These stations will be available to the public.
The $494,000 project also includes the parking lot in front of City Hall.
The city has already redone the parking lot behind City Hall and the city lot at the corner of 8th Street and Avenue F with the same grant funds. Those funds represent the interest paid on about $27 million in loans taken out to rehabilitate the city’s sewer treatment plant. Those funds are only approved by the state for use in storm water mitigation efforts.
The city has also completed plans for the reconstruction and design of the one way pairs between Avenue H and Avenue L on 18th and 20th Street. However Bousselot said the city is currently holding off on bidding those projects out.