WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – The $30 million University Avenue construction project continues in Waterloo.
Crews are working simultaneously on Phase I and Phase II of the project, from Midway Drive to Evergreen Avenue.
University Avenue is going from six lanes to four lanes. Jamie Knutson, the city’s engineer, said the corridor doesn’t see as much traffic because of Highway 218 and 63.
“There was no need for six lanes, so that allowed us to narrow it up, put a bike trail on one side, sidewalk on the other side, to give us a few more amenities, make it a little more walkable, things like that through there,” he said.
While many people have avoided University Avenue, Knutson appreciates everyone’s patience. He said University Avenue hasn’t been touched in about 15-20 years and is in desperate need of repair.
Crews are about 85% finished with Phase I of construction, from Greenhill Drive to Evergreen Avenue, according to Knutson. He said they have one section left to pave in the next few months. Crews hope to finish this portion of the project by November.
Knutson said the rain has been a challenge this spring because there is a significant amount of underground work to complete. Crews are making progress on Phase II, from Midway Drive to Greenhill Drive, but the weather has held them back.
“They’d have all these big holes open, you get a lot of rain, fills them up, they gotta suck the water up, it’s gotta dry out a little bit, they gotta clean out all the mud,” Knutson said. “It’s just kinda a vicious cycle, so we do need the weather to cooperate.”
They’re redoing waterlines, relocating utilities and putting in a new storm sewer. Knutson said the stretch from Midway Avenue to Progress Avenue should be finished by the end of this year. Next construction season, they’ll work on Progress Avenue to Greenhill Drive, which is the second portion of Phase II.
Contractors will start bidding on Phase III of the project, from Dundee Avenue to Highway 63, this fall or early winter, according to Knutson. He said he hopes construction can start as early as next spring. Crews will work on Phase II and Phase III simultaneously.
For more information and the latest traffic updates, visit: https://www.facebook.com/UniversityAveWaterloo/
For more information on the University Avenue construction project, visit: http://www.cityofwaterlooiowa.com/departments/engineering/UniversityAve.php