Dubuque County’s county engineer is requesting $13 million for road projects in the upcoming fiscal year, including several to improve roadways near the Field of Dreams ahead of its hosting of a Major League Baseball game.
County Engineer Anthony Bardgett shared details of his proposed projects with county supervisors during a recent work session. The county budgeted $11.8 million for such projects in this fiscal year, which ends on June 30.
A first priority for him for the next fiscal year is making road improvements ahead of the Aug. 13 game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. An 8,000-seat stadium will be built for the game, and some officials estimate that up to 20,000 people will be in the area at that time.
In November, Bardgett presented initial plans for shoring up two roadways near the movie site. At the time, he thought he could address most of the issues by paving stretches of Black Hills and Lansing roads for about $750,000.
“We’ve discovered a lot more out there — a lot of bad pipes, a lot of box culverts that are far too narrow that I don’t think are safe, especially with a lot of traffic on them,” he told the county supervisors during the recent work session.
Now, he is requesting $1.1 million to pave a total of 1.8 miles of those roads near Field of Dreams.
“That’s considerably higher than I thought,” Supervisor Ann McDonough told Bardgett.
But Bardgett later told the Telegraph Herald that the work really would have needed to be done anyway.
The county also will team up with the Iowa Department of Transportation on resurfacing and other work on 3 miles of Dyersville East Road ahead of the game. The $3 million project will be covered by state funds.
Bardgett also has proposed resurfacing 23 miles of roads in the county — down from 26.8 miles this fiscal year.
Plans also call for the effective reconstruction of Waupeton Road at a cost of $1.7 million. Supervisor Jay Wickham wondered if that money might be better spent on more heavily traveled roads.
“The traffic on this road is pretty marginal,” he said.
But Bardgett said the county had given the road temporary treatments for too long, so now a full reclamation is needed.
Other planned projects include the resurfacing of Olde Castle and Riverside roads; resurfacing and other work on Lake Eleanor and Monastery roads; and resurfacing and construction of a cul-de-sac on Ridgeview Drive.
Bardgett also proposed replacing four bridges next fiscal year — on Derby Grange Road, Gun Club Road, Hosch Road and Holy Family Lane.
Holy Family Lane is the only way to access Holy Family Catholic Church from Monastery Road south of Peosta, but Bardgett said the county would open a currently abandoned road nearby to allow access to the church while the bridge is being replaced.
“Only in Dubuque (County) would you have a one-lane bridge that leads to a dead end at a church that the county maintains,” Wickham said. “But I love Holy Family out there.”