July 15, 2010

Rain dampens road work

by Erin Rosacker

June proved to be one of the wettest months on record in Iowa, slowing work on major road projects in and around campus. Barring further weather delays, both Morrill Road on central campus and 13th Street on the north side of campus should open to traffic before the fall semester begins Aug. 23.

Morrill Road

The central campus stretch of Morrill Road (between Osborn and Union drives) closed May 10 for reconstruction.

Angie Solberg, landscape architect in facilities planning and management, said rain slowed progress on the Morrill Road project, but crews have been logging long hours and working weekends to recoup days lost to weather. Solberg said paving work on the main road began Tuesday, while work on sidewalks, parking stalls and lighting is scheduled to begin this week.

13th Street

If the weather cooperates, the city still plans to complete its 13th Street project by mid-August. That stretch of road reaches from Stange Road to Hyland Avenue.

Eric Cowles, construction supervisor for the project, said pavement work has begun on the westbound lanes and should be done within the next couple weeks. When those lanes are completed, traffic will be routed onto the newly paved westbound lanes while crews replace the eastbound lanes. Cowles said that part of the project is shorter by about 1,000 feet, which will allow the city to open up all four lanes on Stange. However, the intersection traffic lights will remain flashing red.

"We are a little behind, but it still should open by the time school starts," Cowles said.