City Notes: An update on city projects coming up

Hello everyone. Spring is here (I think) and city projects are lining up.

• Street Projects – The city has several street projects lined up for this summer which include Hildreth Street reconstruction, Riverside & Illinois reconstruction and 1st Avenue Bridge resurfacing.

Steven Diers
Steven Diers

Additionally we will be doing annual concrete and asphalt patching, as well as making more intersections ADA-accessible by installing ramps.

• Garbage/Recycling: Bags vs. Wheeled Totes – The change to wheeled totes is happening as we speak. Mother Nature decided to make it more interesting by dumping snow on us at the same time but all in all the change is going well.

There will be a learning curve associated with the move, but the change appears to be going well. A couple of things to keep in mind:

1) Please look at the flyer that came with the recycling tote as it explains the recycling pickup schedule which is every other week on the same day as your garbage pickup. Some start this week and some next week. There are hard copies of this map at City Hall or via the city website www.cityofcharlescity.org.

2) Totes need to face the street and be 4 feet apart from each other so they can be picked up.

3) If you haven’t received the size of tote that you ordered, more are on the way from Jendro and will be delivered soon.

• Spring Cleanup – Spring cleanup has been set for April 23, 24, 25 and 26. Remember, no placing of items curbside until Saturday, April 21.

Crews will make an initial pass on Monday, April 23, to pick up mattresses and box springs citywide. Once that is completed they will make one pass by your home over the next three to four days to pick up remaining items.

Same rules apply as in past years with one important change. We can no longer accept corrugated cardboard in the waste stream. Please keep this in mind as you place things out for pickup and crews will be leaving this material behind or not taking it.

The best way to dispose of corrugated cardboard is to recycle it. Jendro will accept bundled or boxed cardboard placed out with your regular recycling. Just place the stack beside your blue recycle bin for pickup. More details about do’s and don’ts are available on the city website www.cityofcharlescity.org.

• Wayfinding Signage – Soon you will be seeing new “wayfinding” signs in town which will help people coming to Charles City to navigate to key points of interest in the community.

These will appear as signs along the road with up to three public points of interest which sometimes can be difficult to find if you are not familiar with the layout of town. This has been an ongoing goal for many years and recently we were able to get design work completed to get this project ready for rollout.

The initial phase of the project includes installation of roadside signs and signage along the riverfront and will be completed this summer. Additional phases will include public parking signage and kiosks as well as replacement of the Charles City Welcome signs at our entrances. With these projects we will be including a new logo.

This design was developed through the design process and will be included in the sign designs moving forward. It is made to represent our industrial past and future with the “cog wheel,” the pedestrian bridge, river and green projects that have been happening in the community over the years.

• Fiber-to-Home Project/Local high Speed Internet – Review and study continues on the idea of implementing a local internet service. This service would include installation of fiber optics throughout the community to serve homes and businesses.

The goal is to offer improved connectivity, better speed, reliability and customer service, all for a competitive price. This is a big project and one that we are carefully reviewing. In 2005 the citizens voted to create a local municipal utility and we are getting ever closer to doing that. The idea at hand would be to offer internet, video and phone service.

• Charley Western Trail Bridge Demolition and Replacement – Charley Western Bridge in its current state cannot be repaired. The city has been working with state and federal agencies to ensure that the historic bridge is properly documented as it is a historically significant structure.

Additionally, steps needed to be taken to make sure that demolition of the bridge would not adversely affect the area from an environmental standpoint as well, as there is turtle habitat located below. Those steps are completed and demolition of the bridge has been bid out and now the structure will be coming down this summer when river levels are low.

As far as replacement goes, we have been working on that as well. Initially there was discussion on replacing with bridge that could handle daily traffic and offer a southwest connection from South Grand Avenue to Clark Street. While this would have provided some much needed access to the area, it turned out to be cost prohibitive as it would have been around $10 million to $12 million to complete.

With that said we are focusing on replacing the bridge with a recreational-only bridge. This bridge would be designed in a similar fashion to the pedestrian bridge right by City Hall. The plan is to include bump-outs on the bridge so that benches could be installed about halfway across so people using the trail can take a moment and enjoy the view and be out of the traveled portion of the trail.

This bridge, while not built for everyday traffic, will be built strong enough to handle dump trucks and similar equipment as needed during high water events.

Final design is to be determined but going this route will have a price closer to $2.5 million instead. Grants funding will help offset some of the cost but the majority will need to come from city funding sources and local donations. At this point we anticipate construction occurring in the summer of 2020.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please let us know at City Hall. My email is steven.diers@cityofcharlescity.org, or you can give me a call at 641-257-6300.

Have a great day!

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