OTTUMWA — As long as Mother Nature allows it, Ottumwans should see two-way traffic on Main and Second streets in downtown Ottumwa early in the coming week.
According to Public Works Department Director Larry Seals, rain is pretty much the only foreseeable issue that could delay the change from one-way to two-way streets on Main and Second streets.
“If nothing changes, we are still planning on Monday,” he said.
The work will start Monday morning at the intersection of Jefferson and Main streets. Seals said they will be painting new lines and making sure all of the signage is ready to go in stages, starting at Jefferson Street and moving west.
“Hopefully Main Street will be opened up by Monday afternoon,” Seals said.
Work will then start on Second Street Tuesday morning with the same stage system being used, as long as the rain stays away.
According to Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew, officers won’t be directing traffic at each intersection while the change is happening, but they will be on hand in the downtown area should anything go wrong.
“We’ll have guys available if they need assistance,” he said.
The two-way conversion is happening on Main and Second streets between Jefferson Street and Kitterman Avenue. The portions of Main and Second that lie to the west of Kitterman Avenue will not be switched, except for temporarily between McLean Street and McPherson Avenue.
Second Street between McLean and McPherson will be switched to two-way while Main Street is closed for repaving the week after Memorial Day. However, when that work is finished, Second Street between Kitterman and McPherson will be switched back to one-way.
Drivers are urged to keep a keen eye on traffic and new signage while these changes are occurring. The downtown traffic flow could be quite slow as the transition is made, and everyone is encouraged to be patient and alert so the change can happen safely.
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