By Katie Dahlstrom
CLINTON — City officials are considering short term fixes for the Fourth Street viaduct, which they feel is in dire need of repairs.
"The past couple years there's been a lot of problems with the Fourth Street viaduct. The driving surface is deplorable. The last time we did anything was a resurfacing project in 2005," City Engineer Jason Craft said during a City Services Committee meeting last week.
At-large Councilman Charlie Mulholland agreed the road was in need of repair, but said the problem extends to the entire structure.
"It's just not the road, it's the whole area," Mulholland said. "It's the above, it's the walls, it's everything. There's stuff falling down. Repair the road, that's just part of it."
Craft said the road is the worst part, as it is impassable at times, spurring numerous complaints from South Clinton residents and Archer Daniels Midland.
The problem with the viaduct is the lack of drainage. However, a long-term solution to the viaduct drainage problem, including replacing the pavement, intakes and lift station, would cost the city $400,000, which is in no way budgeted, Craft explained.
A short-term solution with a more manageable price tag would be to mill and resurface the existing asphalt along the length of the viaduct and replace the drainage system with new storm sewer intakes, drain tiles and a new French drain system.
That option would cost $40,000, which would come from local option sales tax as part of the city's pavement management program. While more appealing financially, the option is not ideal.
"It will be nice, but it will deteriorate quickly," Craft said.
The viaduct will continue to flood during high groundwater tables since the stormwater run off will have no relief. The flooding will become progressively worse, eventually causing the system to fail in six to eight years, Craft explained.
The city would face another $25,000 in repairs by 2020. Committee members moved the $40,000 option forward to the Committee of the Whole for the entire council to consider.
In addition to the temporary fix, city officials are evaluating policy changes that would help maintain the viaduct. City Attorney Jeff Farwell said a policy that would direct truck traffic through the city, which could include a provision that trucks use the Second Street viaduct instead of the Fourth Street viaduct, is in the works.