OTTUMWA — The streetscape project in Downtown Ottumwa begins Thursday, at least officially.
The project involves a major redesign of the 100 through 300 blocks of East Main Street. Plans call for the entire road to be dug out and replaced with a semi-permeable surface that will direct rain runoff toward new plantings along the sides of the street. Work will also include replacement of water lines and other subsurface needs.
In February 2018, the city approved up to $3.4 million in bonds. But some additional grants make it unlikely the city will need that full bonding capacity for its portion of the cost. The Legacy Foundation has committed more than $2 million.
When complete, the work will include new mid-block crosswalks and intersections. The materials involved echo the work done in the past couple years in Canteen Alley.
Multiple agencies are providing money for the project, including from the city and the Legacy Foundation. State grants and the Ottumwa waterworks are also providing funds for the $6 million project.
While the kickoff event begins at 4 p.m. Thursday, the actual work will take two construction seasons. City officials have said they hope to minimize disruptions with the project, particularly next winter, but some will be unavoidable.