CLINTON — A comprehensive study of the feasibility of constructing a new riverfront roadway has received support from the Clinton City Council's Committee of the Whole.
North River Drive, as the thoroughfare would be called, has been envisioned to run adjacent to the city's existing levee top, beginning roughly where the current Riverview Drive ends at Ninth Avenue North. The new roadway would run up to the Lyons District, connecting with Main Avenue via a roundabout.
The study, should it be officially approved at a future council meeting, is slated to cost $12,500, raised from an original $7,500 mark. City officials want to ensure that the comprehensive nature of the study will "develop costs, identify potential funding, and define a schedule (for the potential project)," among other aspects.
The roadway would connect downtown Clinton and the Lyons District and alleviate some traffic congestion like never before, Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke believes.
"One of the reasons we talked about this concept is, to have the whole piece linked (by North River Drive) would be the first time ever in the history of Clinton when (downtown Clinton and Lyons) would be connected without a stoplight," Brooke said at Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting. "What an amazing thing."
Cedar Rapids-based Snyder and Associates would head the study, working also with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other environmental and engineering entities to plan the feasibility of the roadway on the riverfront.
Another potential roadway project may have to wait a little bit longer to undergo a similar study, however, the council decided Tuesday.
Council members voted to wait on a study that would analyze a four-laning of Mill Creek Parkway from U.S. 30 to Main Avenue, and a two-lane extension of the byway from Main Avenue to U.S. 67 near Eagle Point Park.
After hearing the concern of some community members – specifically members of the Lyons Business and Professional Association – it was decided to hold off on the study until conversations are held with other prevalent entities such as the Downtown Clinton Alliance and the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce to determine the impact the project would have on the entire city.
Several LBPA members were on hand Tuesday to address the council, including Mike Rastrelli, who owns Rastrelli's Restaurant at 238 Main Ave. in the Lyons District.
"As a representative of the LBPA I want to express our concern with the proposal... When projects that are going to affect our business and neighborhood are being discussed, we would like to be at the table," Rastrelli said Tuesday night. "We were not at this table."