Bridge, street projects begin in Fort Dodge

Construction crews have started some repairs to the Bridge of Fallen Heroes on North Third Street in Fort Dodge.

Within a couple of weeks, other workers will start the process of rebuilding First Avenue North between Third and Seventh streets.

A handful of engineers was on hand to explain both projects during a lightly attended public open house Tuesday evening at McClure Engineering Co., 705 First Ave. N.

One of the few people who attended was a resident of Rosedale Apartments at First Avenue North and Third Street who wanted to know how she would be able to get to and from her home during the project.

Aaron Granquist, a project manager with McClure Engineering Co., said the work will be done in phases so that one half of the driveway leading to the apartment buildings will always be usable. He said during the first construction phase, residents of the apartments will be able to use the eastern side of that driveway. During the subsequent phase of construction, the residents will be able to use the western side of the driveway.

Granquist said access to the Webster County office building at 330 First Ave. N. will be maintained throughout the project. He said the work will proceed in stages so that one of the two driveways to the building will always be open.

Bridge of Fallen Heroes

The bridge was closed Monday. Jeff Fadden, an engineer with Calhoun-Burns and Associates Inc., of West Des Moines, said the work will be done by the end of June.

Cramer and Associates Inc., of Grimes, has a $246,578.25 contract for the job.

Fadden said workers are now grinding off pavement and chipping out bad concrete.

He said the project consists of repairing the bridge deck, fence and guard rail. He said the expansion joints at both ends of the bridge will be replaced.

The repair project had been discussed since 2009.

The bridge was built in 1961. It was renamed by the City Council in 2010 to honor all those who died fighting for the United States.

First Avenue North

The street project includes total reconstruction of the pavement, sidewalk replacement and installation of new water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and street lights.

The new lights will be the first LED street lights in Fort Dodge, according to Tony Trotter, a project manager for the city’s Engineering, Business Affairs and Community Growth Department. He said the LED lights will provide energy savings.

Trotter said the work is to start April 14. The contractor will have 140 working days to complete the project, he added.

Granquist said some changes were made to restore about six on-street parking spaces that would have been eliminated with the original design.

The traffic lights at First Avenue North and Seventh Street will be removed as part of the project.

Wicks Construction, of Decorah, has a $2,839,770.25 contract for the job.

The city received a $1,695,000 state grant to help pay for it. The rest of the money will come from the local option sales tax, plus sanitary sewer and water system revenues.

Councilman Dave Flattery, who attended the open house, said the project is a good one.

”We hope it would spur further private development projects there,” he said.

City Manager David Fierke has previously said that when the project is complete he will recommend that First Avenue North be converted to two-way traffic for its entire downtown length. It is now a two-way street between Third and Seventh streets. Between Seventh and 12th streets it is a one-way street with all traffic heading east.