By Mayor Dean Andrews
Spring is coming. No, I mean it, it really is. Even though it seems like we have had an excess of winter this year, the snow is starting to melt.
With the amount of snow we have had this year, I know many people are concerned about the potential of flooding. Currently, we are in a flood watch position with prediction of only minor flooding in Charles City.
Emergency Management Coordinator Lezlie Weber and the city are keeping a close eye on the conditions, and any changes will be communicated to the public via the city Facebook page or the Emergency Management Facebook page.
When the snow is gone, we do have some street projects that will be ramping up. The completion of the Hildreth Street reconstruction is probably the biggest.
Last fall we were forced to shut that project down prior to completion due to the wet fall conditions. That project will pick back up with completion ending at 9th Street.
The alleyway adjacent to the Dollar Tree is also scheduled for reconstruction. The project of reconstruction along Riverside Drive will also be finished. Currently, the intersection of Riverside and Joslin is the major void, along with other minor finishing-up touches.
New for this year will be a couple of asphalt projects. One project will be along South Main Street from the intersection with Highway 14 and then heading south. The other project is along North Jackson Street from Blunt Street north to Lane Street.
These projects will involve milling the current surface and adding an asphalt overlay. The South Main project will also involve some rerouting of the storm water system to help alleviate some of the storm water issues in this neighborhood during heavy rain events.
Speaking of road projects, one of the main streets that I hear about is the roughness of 4th Avenue from Grand Avenue to the city limits east.
My response is always that because this is a section of Highway 18, this is a state street and not a street of local jurisdiction.
Well, the good news is that City Engineer John Fallis and I had a meeting with representatives from the Iowa DOT and their design firm a couple of weeks ago. The plan is now in place for major repair of that roadway.
The project will be bid in the fall of 2020, with construction for summer of 2021. I know this seems like a long way out, but being on the schedule is a big plus.
This project will also look at redesign of the intersection at 4th Avenue and North Grand. The limited turning radius at this intersection makes it difficult for turning truck traffic, with the result often damaging the traffic signals there. This redesign should greatly help this situation.
Lastly, one other project that will proceed this spring and summer is the wayfinding signage. This project has been under consideration for several years, with money being set aside in the city budget the last two years.
This winter we finally got a favorable bid. The bid includes three aspects:
- A series of in-town roadside signs directing people to points of interest such as riverfront attractions, the high school, the Floyd County Museum, etc.
- Replacement of the four entrance signs leading to town. The current wooden signs are approximately 20 years old and are in deteriorating condition.
- The placement of several stand-alone kiosks with information about the district in which they are located.
It is the hope that this project will make it easier for visitors to our community and provide them with information on all that we have to offer.