WATERLOO — The city has received a $3.2 million state grant to help rebuild East Shaulis Road near the planned Lost Island Theme Park.
Waterloo City Council members voted unanimously Monday to accept the Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
The RISE grant was approved by state transportation officials last month based on the economic and tourism impact the of $100 million theme park being constructed by the Bertch family near the Lost Island Waterpark and Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo.
The city is required to match the grant to complete the estimated $6.4 million project, which rebuilds Shaulis from Hess Road to U.S. Highway 218.
Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson said the match likely will come from city bonds and tax-increment financing revenue. Early plans to utilize some local option sales tax revenue appear to be off the table.
Work includes building a roundabout at the intersection of Shaulis and Hess, turning lanes at the water park and theme park entrance, a culvert for Sink Creek, a traffic signal at the theme park entrance and work at the intersection of Shaulis, Dysart Road and U.S. 218.
The project also raises the elevation of Shaulis Road, which floods during periods of heavy rainfall.
City Engineer Jamie Knutson said the original plan to realign Shaulis Road at a cost of $11 million was scaled back after reviews by the HR Green Inc. engineering firm.
“After the traffic analysis was completed, it was determined that with upgrades to the Shaulis/218 intersection, a roundabout at Hess, and linking the traffic signals at 218 and the Isle of Capri, we could stay on the same alignment,” Knutson said. “The costs came down because we are staying on the same alignment.”
Knutson said HR Green recommended the roundabout based on the traffic analysis and available city-owned right-of-way for the construction.
“Had the traffic study recommended a signalized intersection, that is what we would have gone with,” he said.
Bids are expected on the project this fall with construction to be completed sometime before the theme park opens in 2022.
Staffer Tim Jamison’s most memorable 2019 stories:
Courier Reporter Tim Jamison's most memorable stories of 2019
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