WATERLOO — The long-awaited reconstruction of Waterloo’s portion of University Avenue is expected to get underway this week.
City Council members voted unanimously Monday to approve an $8.7 million contract with Peterson Contractors Inc., of Reinbeck, to rebuild about a mile of the former state highway from Greenhill Road to Evergreen Avenue just past the Ansborough Avenue intersection.
Contractors are expected to begin some preliminary work Thursday.
“It will be very minimal, just setting wood poles for temporary traffic signals,” said Michelle Sweeney, project manager for the AECOM engineering firm overseeing the work.
While this week’s work is not expected to affect traffic, there may be limited lane closures starting early next week as crews do more preparation work.
Once full construction begins in the future, the contractors expect to rebuild the eastbound lanes first, pushing all traffic in both directions into the current westbound lanes. The process will reverse to reconstruct the westbound lanes.
The design reduces the roadway from six to four lanes, replaces water mains and storm sewers, adds a recreational trail and keeps the four signalized intersections at Ansborough, Sager Avenue, Falls Avenue and the frontage road near Casey’s General Store and Perkins Restaurant.
City officials are hoping this first phase of the project will wrap up this year.
The second phase will rebuild University from Greenhill Road west to the Cedar Falls city limits at Midway Drive. The final phase would rebuild University from Evergreen east to U.S. 63 near downtown.
The city received $28 million from the Iowa Department of Transportation when it accepted jurisdiction of University Avenue. Those dollars along with Waterloo Water Works funding and a $750,000 Black Hawk County Gaming Association grant are currently identified as funding sources.