City officials are targeting a March 17 bid letting for the Locust Road reconstruction project.
At its meeting last month, the Decorah City Council contracted McClure Engineering of Clive for $521,331 for the final design of the project, through the bidding process and the hiring of a contractor.
City officials haven’t decided the length of the project. The section from College Drive to Pine Crest Drive will be bid as a “base bid” with Pine Crest to Highland Drive bid as an “alternate.”
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) will be conducting the bid letting since the city has been awarded $1 million in DOT funds for the project
Last fall, the College Drive to Pine Crest section was estimated to cost $4,177,404 and the engineer’s estimate for College Drive to Highland Drive was $6,453,011. Neither estimate includes intersection improvements.
The work would begin late spring or early summer of 2020, according to City Engineer Jeremy Bril.
“The goal is to try to get it done in one year,” he said.
If the price is within the range the city can afford and the alternate section is done, that could push the work into 2021 depending on the contractor's schedule and weather, Bril said.
The section from College Drive to Shady Lane Drive (south of Pine Crest) includes a proposal for a curb and gutter road with a separate sidewalk for pedestrians and bikers, likely on the north side of the road, Bril said. From Shady Lane to Pinecrest or Highland a wide shoulder without a separate sidewalk is planned. The shoulder would be paved to allow for bike and pedestrian traffic and would include a rumble strip and a white line to distinguish the biking/pedestrian section from traffic.

Complex/Detours
Bril said the Locust Road project is “very complex” with water and subsurface issues. There are also springs and sinkholes near the road and an extensive geophysical analysis of the conditions underneath will be completed before the project starts.
“Locust Road is one of the busiest roads in town and when we close it, we need to look at detours,” Bril said.
To accommodate the detour, work on streets that will be involved has been scheduled for this fall and early spring. A project on Ridge Road includes reconstructing the hill portion of the street from the Decorah Swimming Pool and patching.
“That will be a big project – a complete reconstruction,” Bril said of Ridge Road.
He said the patch work will be done this fall – weather permitting – and the main portion involving the hill will likely happen in the spring.
Asphalt overlays are planned on Shady Lane and Hilltop this fall in conjunction with the Locust Road project. The overlays involve grinding down part of the surface before a new layer of pavement is installed over the top.

Other street work
Other projects in the city’s street construction schedule include College Drive from the intersection with Locust Road to the entrance of Luther College, Pool Street, Commerce Drive and North Street this fall and East Water Street in the spring.
During a special meeting last month, the Council awarded a $104,939 contract to Skyline Construction for East Broadway alley improvements between William Street and Oak Street to be completed this fall. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $91,783 and the only other bidder was JB Holland Construction of Decorah, $123,680.
Other work scheduled for the current fiscal year which ends June 30, 2020, includes the replacement of the Oneota Drive Bridge, which is under construction, and Court Street improvements and Winnebago/Broadway intersection improvements that will likely take place next year.