Summer construction projects near completion
For most of the year, dump trucks and cement mixers have adorned the intersection of Highway 1 and Libertyville Road in Fairfield.
The intersection is the site of several construction projects, some of which are being undertaken by the city while others are the work of private developers.
Pilot Grove Savings Bank
Pilot Grove Savings Bank has built a building south of First Christian Church. The groundbreaking on the bank was in October, and it will open its doors to the public in four to six weeks.
Carol A. Remick, marketing director of Pilot Grove Savings Bank, said the construction crew is putting the finishing touches on the building’s interior and exterior.
Once it’s open, visitors to the bank will be driving on a brand new road. South Junction Road is a north-south street that runs parallel to Highway 1 and provides motorists access to First Christian Church. Melanie Carlson of French-Reneker-Associates said South Junction Road had to be rebuilt because it was not properly draining water. Instead of draining into the nearby ditch, water settled in between South Junction Road and the loop trail, which often made for a soggy jog.
The new road is about 90 percent finished, and once it’s done it will be a “complete street,” meaning it will have a bike lane for cyclists and sidewalks for pedestrians. A portion of the loop trail has been closed during construction of South Junction Road, and the plan is to return it to its normal location once construction has finished. Part of the loop trail will be paved near Pilot Grove Savings Bank, where it will double as the sidewalk. Carlson said she has been working with the contractor to speed up the process and to return the trail to service as soon as possible.
Remick said she does not foresee the road construction impacting the bank’s opening date.
Casey’s General Store
Across the street from Pilot Grove Savings Bank, another team of construction workers is nearing completion of a Casey’s General Store on the northwest corner of the Highway 1 and Libertyville Road intersection.
Casey’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bill Walljasper said today the new store will open in October. He said it will replace the Casey’s General Store on Highway 1 east of O.B. Nelson Park, which will close when the new store opens.
The city closed Second Street between Burlington and Madison avenues earlier this summer. The street was closed to allow a city crew to patch the concrete and to add curb ramps. Carlson said those are things the city is doing in-house to avoid having to hire a contractor.
The street will receive new asphalt this fall. Carlson said it’s too cold to pour asphalt in November, so she anticipates the city finishing the project well before the first snow.
Highland Street between Madison and Jackson avenues will be torn up for repairs either this fall or next spring, but not during the winter. The city will also remove eight to 10 silver maple trees in the parking along that section of Highland Street. Carlson said those trees have become hollow, have lost limbs and are now housing raccoons. The city will contact the homeowners in the near future to plan for replacement trees.
Portions of other streets will be closed this fall for repairs to water lines. North Fourth Street from Merrill Avenue to the Maharishi University of Management library will be under construction from the end of the month until the end of October. Carlson anticipates having to close one lane of traffic for those repairs while leaving the other lane open to traffic.
The city council will hold a public hearing on the proposed outdoor pool at 7 p.m. Monday during its regular meeting at city hall. The public is invited to look at the plans for the pool, which will be built southwest of the Roosevelt Community Recreation Center.
The council expects to receive bids for the pool on Aug. 21. At its meeting Aug. 25, it will have a chance to approve the bids so construction can begin.
Carlson said the city has encountered a few roadblocks that are stalling the first phase of its construction on the sewer plant and the wastewater main that leads to it. She said the city has not received all its permits from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, but hopes to begin construction in November.
Fairfield Park & Rec Director Derik Wulfekuhle plans to meet with the anonymous donor who has given $160,000 toward a new skate park to review the final plan. Once the donor signs off on the plan, construction can begin, which could be as early as mid-August. Construction on the skate park is expected to finish by late September.