With the project’s two-year time commitment, city engineer Jason Craft said it behooves organizers of the Camanche Avenue reconstruction project to listen to citizen’s concerns. At a public meeting Tuesday, Craft, along with representatives from the Iowa Department of Transportation and consulting firm H.R. Green, met with citizens affected by the project, and discussed potential concerns.
The biggest issue raised, Craft said, has been the potential for decreased accessibility to properties and businesses along the heavily-traveled roadway.
“Concerned property owners (are) worrying about access to their properties,” he said. “We’ve assured them that the contractor is obligated to leave that access open at all times.”
Linda Jaeger, who owns Norm’s Automotive with her husband Norman, said that business could be negatively impacted by lane closures. The congested traffic could turn away potential customers, she said.
“People aren’t going to want to go on that street,” Linda said.
Linda and Norma were placated by the assurances of Craft and DOT officials that their property would not be cut off by road work. But some citizens, like Jeff Carroll, raised concerns that they believe have not yet been addressed.
A resident of 25th Place, Carroll said traffic has increased significantly in his neighborhood since construction began two days ago. Traffic that he said is not obeying rules of the road.
“Traffic has increased immensely,” Carroll said. “People jumping around, trying to make (good) time. …They didn’t even stop for the stop signs.”
Carroll’s neighborhood is surrounded by gravel roads. He said that vehicles speeding through the area have been kicking up large dust and dirt clouds. Issues like these, Carroll said, should not be overlooked.
“I realize they have to do (this road construction project),” he said. “But they need to address the problem up top here.”
Craft said concerns like those of Carroll’s may be addressed naturally as the project progresses, or may require further scrutiny.
“As this project gets going and we get the lane closures in place, the details in place…we’ll address any concerns that we have,” Craft said.
Lane closures will persist even throughout winter, so some inconveniences will just have to be tolerated. But Craft said that once the project is complete, it will better serve the citizens of Clinton.