IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) – The 100 block of East Burlington Street is expected to reopen on Monday night in
downtown Iowa City, following a destructive fire that sparked last Tuesday.
A release from the City of Iowa City says the stretch of the road is expected to reopen to traffic at 8 p.m. on Monday night. The six-day length of the closure along the block is indicative of just how damaging a fire to a construction area was last week, which resulted in an initial loss estimate of $1 million according to officials.
UPDATE: Traffic is once again moving along on one of the city’s busiest streets downtown.
A fire at the Hieronymus Square construction site rerouted traffic for nearly a week and businesses were feeling the impact from the closure.
“It started off kind of small and then the whole building was on fire,” Lucky Taylor recalls as he was on his way into work on Tuesday afternoon.
Taylor is the manager at Estella’s Fresh Mex restaurant across the street from the site of the fire. The entrance and side of the restaurant is where the road closure begins.
He said the roads have been confusing since the closure and that the restaurant saw less foot traffic in the six days that Burlington St. was closed.
“All the dirt and debris around,” Taylor said, looking at the closed road. “People just go around the other way.”
Late into Monday afternoon, construction crews were using skid loaders and street cleaners to remove ash-mixed snow from the side of the roadway. By then, the third floor in its entirety had been torn down.
Hodge Construction Vice President Kevin Digmann said the clean up on the site will still continue this week before it can move forward. He said the fire will delay them 30 days and possibly up to 60 days.
Digmann said the rain over the weekend was one of the reasons it took longer than anticipated to get the side damage cleared for the street to be reopened.
Construction, Digmann said, will continue on the south side tower of the building where the fire didn’t hit.
Hieronymus Square is a seven-story building. The south tower is the future home of a Marriott Extended Stay hotel. More than 40 high-end condos are going up in the north tower portion where the fire broke out.