Preparing for the project ...

Waukon City Manager Dean Hilgerson and Field Services Coordinator Pete Hjelmstad with the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) recently provided an update to The Standard regarding the tree removal process currently taking place in Waukon in preparation for the 2019 DOT Street and Sidewalk Project that will improve State Highways 9 and 76 entering, through and exiting Waukon.

According to Hilgerson, 46 trees within Waukon had been marked with an orange “X” for removal (such as those pictured in the surrounding photos), with that removal process likely to be completed before the end of March. Hilgerson indicated that the trees within the boulevards of West Main Street and Allamakee Street in Waukon were chosen for removal due to their condition and proximity to the street and sidewalk that will be improved as part of this summer’s project. Existing tree root structures have caused and would continue to cause sidewalk and street upheaval, prompting the DOT to move forward with the removal process prior to the street and sidewalk project scheduled to begin later this spring and last throughout the summer.

Hilgerson indicated that the tree removal contractor, Douglas Timber Solutions out of Dubuque, is making provision for the disposal of the trees, with the City allowing them to use the tree salvage area at the yardwaste disposal site near the Allamakee County Fairgrounds to facilitate disposal of large tree limbs and trunks that are not chipped on site following cutting (pictured in the photo at center).

With crews working to cut down trees (such as pictured in the photo above), limbs and debris should be safety concerns for pedestrians and motorists traveling near work zones. Hjelmstad has advised that motorists stay alert, avoid distractions including cell phone use or texting, slow down and drive carefully through work zones for their own safety and the safety of others.

Details about the 2019 DOT Street and Sidewalk Project timeline are yet to be fully determined, with the project scheduled for completion within the 2019 construction season. Hilgerson advised that more will be known following the Wednesday, March 20 pre-construction meeting being held in New Hampton with the DOT, which will be directly supervising this project.

Details of the street and sidewalk project were previously presented March 8, 2018 at an informational meeting held at the Waukon Wellness Center. Representatives of the DOT including Hjelmstad answered questions from the public and business owners that will be affected by the 2019 DOT Street and Sidewalk Project which will involve either resurfacing or patching, or a combination of the two, on IA 9 from the south junction of IA 76 to just north of 10th Avenue NW as well as IA 76 from the south junction of IA 9 to West Ninth Street in Waukon. This project will also include improvements to sidewalks and curb ramps making them compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards improving handicapped accessibility with sidewalks being replaced and extended to meet the five feet ADA requirement. Standard photos by Joe Moses.

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