OTTUMWA — Some of the road construction that has Ottumwa drivers going in circles could soon come to an end, according to Director of Public Works Larry Seals. But with the completion of those roads, new construction will start popping up in other parts of town.
Smaller areas of construction, like work done this week on Jefferson Street and the Keota Street work that should be finished by the end of today, only inconvenience drivers for a short period of time. Other, more long-term projects may cause more than just a delay.
Resurfacing efforts for the first selection of streets under the 2013 Asphalt Street Program, which includes parts of Bonita and Vanness avenues and Green, Camille, Kenwood and Kruger streets, are either completed or soon will be.
Likewise, Milner and Davis streets, as well as Marilyn Road and the first half of Maple Avenue, should conclude in the next week or two, assuming the weather continues to cooperate.
Completing projects does not mean the end of road construction for the town, however. The end of one project means the start of another, and in this case it means the start of a few.
A second selection of streets is proposed to be added to the Asphalt Street Program. On Tuesday, the Ottumwa City Council will meet to discuss the addition of Dubuque Avenue from Finley Avenue to the end; Hamilton Street from Osceola Street to the cul de sac; and Keota Street from Lillian to Ferry streets. If approved, the construction will start soon after, and all should be completed by the end of the year, according to Seals.
Along with the additions to the Asphalt Street Program, the work on the second half of Maple Avenue, portions of North Court Street from Maple to Ottumwa streets and Quincy Avenue north of U.S. 34 are set to begin construction in the next few weeks.
Quincy Avenue will be the trickiest, with temporary access cutouts to the businesses having to be done along with the street work. It is set for reconstruction instead of just resurfacing so will take a little more time to complete.
Side projects that come up will also garner attention from workers, and construction will soon start on the west end of Second and Main streets, turning parts of them into two-way traffic for the time being. Pipes will be laid and underground work will be started, but Seals does not expect any paving to be down before the end of the year.
Road construction will continue to take place until cold temperatures force workers to stop.