Even though it is still too early in the process to mark an exact date for if/when the highly anticipated 12th to 13th Avenue bridge will be finished, the Dyersville City Council is starting to get a better idea of the broader timeline for the project.
At its Sept. 3 meeting, the council heard from HDR project manager Michael Kurek on some of the specifics for a newly penned $190,000 engineering agreement between the firm and the city.
Acknowledging that he didn’t expect anything too specific at this point in the game, Mayor Jim Heavens asked if there was an estimate for when people could be driving across the bridge if everything kept progressing forward.
“It all depends on how much money you want to throw at the contractor,” Kurek said. He added that given the estimated size of the bridge, it could take nearly two years to construct. However, due to the type of land the bridge will be built on, construction could be wrapped up sooner than that.
“I think it helps that the area we’re planning on spanning doesn’t have a lot of residential properties — it’s just farm field. Usually, traffic closures and detours only add to the timeline, but with this essentially being a field, that will speed up construction,” Kurek said.
Heavens commented that Dyersville has been waiting 40-or-so years for this bridge, so a few extra months probably wouldn’t hurt anything. City Administrator Mick Michel added that city staff was anticipating construction in 2024 if everything goes well.
Kurek told the council once the farmer has the crops harvested around November, HDR can get in the field with surveyors to take core samples to begin gathering data for the design.
The council also approved a contract for resurfacing work along 6th Street SE, which will encompass the intersections of 11th, 12th and 13th Avenues.
Eastern Iowa Excavating & Concrete, LLC., of Cascade, had the lowest of the four submitted bids at $170,616, which was 13.3% below the engineer’s estimate of $197,000.
Public Works Director John Wandsnider said the company has done work in Dyersville before and has done an excellent job, giving the council his recommendation.
Wandsnider said the existing pavement will be pulverized and used as a base and two layers of asphalt will be installed atop that.
To remedy some of the ponding issues the area has experienced in the past, Wandsnider said they’ve installed several new water intakes and are planning on making several other improvements in addition.
“Right now, if you’re traveling to the north, the road pretty much drains across from east to west,” Wandsnider said. By installing a bit of a crown on the east side of the road, Wandsnider said the new intakes will be able to grab that water, keeping it from moving across the road as it does currently.
In other news, the council:
• Voted 3-1 to deny a flood plain development permit from JRR Investment, LLC at 324 3rd Street NE. The application stated they wished to add a 3,429 square foot, $40,000 storage facility to the existing building. In Michel’s recommendation for denial, he stated the area did not have the required one-foot clearance above the 100-year floodplain, adding that approval of the application would have an impact on everyone’s overall floodplain insurance.
Michel also stated that even if the council did approve the permit, the DNR could still deny it later. Councilman Mike Oberbroeckling, who cast the lone vote against the denial, stated he was frustrated that the council didn’t have more information on the project and wanted to have the issue tabled. Councilman Mark Breitbach was absent.
• Approved a building permit for Go the Distance Baseball, LLC, for a 3,000 square foot, $250,000 gift shop and office facility at the Field of Dreams Movie Site.
• Approved a request from the James Kennedy Public Library to close the parking lot adjacent to the library Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for its 60th-anniversary party, which will include a 1950s car show and dance.