The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

January 30, 2013

Liberty Square: Finished by July 1

CLINTON — Area transportation advocates and city employees Tuesday met with Iowa and Illinois Department of Transportation staff to discuss the projects affecting the Gateway area.

The semi-annual meetings between locals and District 6 DOT employees give the people working at the local level an update on the DOT’s direction with major transportation projects while simultaneously giving the state workers insight into the projects that are most important to local advocates.

The important projects discussed on Tuesday included the U.S. 30/67 Liberty Avenue project, which District 6 Engineer Jim Schnoebelen said would be complete by July 1. The contractors continue to do work through the winter to complete it.

“In terms of quantities, they're about 50 percent done, but I think it's the easy 50 percent,” Schnoebelen said.

The city intends to demolish two of the buildings that still stand in the area between Camanche and Liberty avenues — those buildings being a former laundromat and a vacant car wash building. The city agreed to put the demolition out for bid with the properties scheduled to be gone by mid-April.

Local advocates asked what the protocol would be for the city purchasing land from the DOT once the project was complete.

“Typically what we would do is finish the project just to make sure we have the right of way set where we need to and then we would begin that process,” Schnoebelen said.

The appraisal through disposal process can take up to a year, but could be accelerated in this case.

State law requires the property must first be offered to the owner from which it came. Then unless the city intends to put the land to public purpose, such as a park or other public space, it would be subject to public bid auction.  

The property also will have to be re-platted before it can be sold.

Iowa U.S. 30 Coalition Chairwoman Edith Pfeffer suggested putting an “urban jungle” in some of the space in order to increase the city's green initiatives.

“I think that’s what we really should do on the ADM side,” Pfeffer said.

The group also discussed the location design and environmental impact study for U.S. 30 from Fulton to Rock Falls.

“We don't want to let this project be cold in the grave. We really don't,” Illinois U.S. 30 Coalition Chairwoman Barb Suehl-Janis said. “We want to keep this in front of our legislators.”

The conundrum Suehl-Janis and other advocates face is whether to continue to seek funding if they don't know the future of the project or how much funding is needed to ensure the project is completed.  

Masood Ahmad, the acting studies and plan engineer for the Illinois DOT, said he believed they could continue on their mission for funding.  The discussion ended with the 19th Avenue North extension project.

Fulton City Administrator Randy Balk asked what the anticipated traffic increase will be across the Iowa 136 bridge once the extension is complete. He was told the residential and truck traffic was not expected to substantially increase because most would still choose to use U.S. 30.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Take a 'National Night Out'

    For one night every year, communities across the country celebrate National Night Out, a nationwide initiative to fight crime and promote safe communities.

    July 31, 2014

  • David Evers Evers' duck decoy hits auction block

    From just a block out of a basswood tree, David Evers creates award-winning pieces of artwork.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Well affected by mercury spill is working again

    Mercury remains in one of Clinton’s Archer Daniels Midland wells, stemming from a November 2013 spill. But according to an independent study, threat levels are below Iowa Department of Natural Resources standards.
    The affected Well No. 4 returned to operation earlier this month.

    July 31, 2014

  • Blake Holovach Holovach converting back to a starting pitcher

    When Blake Holovach takes the mound tonight along the Mississippi River in Davenport, it’ll be in the first inning, which he wasn’t accustomed to in the past.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Relay for Life: Stepping toward awareness

    Statistics reveal that cancer continues to remain the second most common cause of death in the United States, claiming one out of four deaths every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • Holly Youngquist Friends of the Library book sale is underway

    Friends of the Library Book Sale is open now. The sale is open to all until 8 p.m. today and on Friday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Finally, Saturday, Aug. 2, is box day. From 9 a.m. to  3 p.m., books will sell at $3 per box.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cremation service helped pet owner in her time of need

    I wanted to share some positive news about a business located in Clinton that I’m guessing most residents aren’t aware even exists. It’s Northridge Pet Cremation on Main Avenue and for me they were recently a godsend.

    July 31, 2014

  • Darryl Hogue Fulton superintendent settles in to new position

    One month into the permanent River Bend School District superintendent job, Darryl Hogue has experienced the long hours, stress and the learning curve that comes with any new position.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video