Crosstown connector work coming

Construction that would turn First Avenue South into the crosstown connector would begin this summer under a timeline presented to the Fort Dodge City Council Tuesday.

That timeline calls for the council to award a contract during its June 18 meeting for work to be done downtown this year and next spring.

That work is estimated to cost $3.4 million, according to Wade Greiman, transportation group leader for Snyder & Associates, of Ankeny. That money, he said, will come from state grants, tax increment financing and a previous bond issue.

He said First Avenue South would be rebuilt between Seventh and Ninth streets this year.

Next year, he said, the street realignment that will join First and Second avenues south with a roundabout intersection at Sixth Street will be built.

The contract would also include the removal of the majority of downtown traffic lights, as engineers recommended a couple of years ago, Greiman said.

Five more pieces of property will have to be purchased to do the project, he said. Appraisals are underway on those parcels.

”I’m just glad to see this thing going,” Councilman Terry Moehnke said.

The first crosstown connector work in downtown took place earlier this year when Rasch Construction Inc., of Fort Dodge, demolished four buildings near the intersection of First Avenue South and Sixth Street. Those buildings, once the home of Carpet World/Flooring America, were purchased by the city about two years ago specifically so that they could be removed to make way for the roundabout intersection.

The crosstown connector project will turn First Avenue South into a two-way street for its entire length. It was first proposed in a downtown master plan adopted by the City Council in 2008.