WATERLOO -- Road closed signs are popping up as the city's local option sales tax street repair program enters its 29th season.
Waterloo City Council members last week approved a $3.6 million contract with Aspro Inc. of Waterloo to completely replace portions of six city streets with new asphalt surfaces and underground utilities.
A second contract to put an asphalt overlay on five more streets is slated for an April 25 bid opening, and a third contract to replace two streets using concrete is also on tap.
All three contracts are funded with a 1 percent local option sales tax approved by voters in 1991 and renewed five times over the last three decades. The tax, which is required to be spent on street construction, generates about $9 million to $10 million annually.
Streets slated to be reconstructed under the contract approved this week include: West Third Street from Kimball Avenue to Clough Street; Forest Avenue from Kimball Avenue to Martha Street; Maryland Avenue between Frederic and Lovejoy avenues; Meadow Lane between Russell and Sheridan roads; Oakwood Drive between Candlewick and Greenbrier roads; and San Marnan Drive's east frontage road from St. Francis Drive to 200 feet east of Melissa Lane.
The proposed asphalt overlay work will include: West Fourth Street from Baltimore Street to Kimball Avenue; Ansborough Avenue between University and Maynard avenues; Ansborough from West Fourth to San Marnan; Maynard from Rainbow Drive to Ansborough; and Home Plaza from Ansborough about 100 feet east.
The final contract is unusual because it specifies Portland cement concrete construction instead of asphalt, which has historically been used to reconstruct streets under the option tax program.
City Engineer Jamie Knutson said bids will be sought to rebuild Dysart Road from Orange Road north to near the Shaulis Road intersection and to reconstruct a block of West Second Street between Jefferson and Commercial streets downtown.
"Based on the large volume of trucks that use (Dysart Road), we decided to go with concrete," Knutson said, noting asphalt would have required a much thicker surface. The storm sewer under West Second was too shallow for an asphalt surface.
Aspro is already out working on a handful of streets remaining from the 2018 reconstruction program.
"When you think back to September and October, the weather was terrible," said Knutson, noting the record rainfalls made it difficult for contractors to complete projects.
The local option sales tax program does not include the reconstruction of University Avenue, which is being funded with $28 million in state road use tax, or the Iowa Department of Transportation's reconstruction of U.S. Highway 63 and U.S. Highway 20.
The local option sales tax revenue is not allowed to be used to patch potholes or other routine street maintenance.