Normal traffic flow by end of July
Engineers overseeing the West Highway project are projecting that repaving and construction work on the enterprise will be completed by the end of July, allowing one of the most traveled roads in Alta to resume a normal level of traffic flow ahead of schedule.
Buena Vista County Engineer Jon Ites, who is heading up the three-month project, said subcontract work on the curb and gutters along the road is about halfway completed, and Rohle Construction of Estherville, the primary contractor for the endeavor, is scheduled to begin the asphalt overlay phase of the highway either on July 8 or July 15.
The asphalt overlay work will be the last piece of the $200,000 enterprise to fit into place, and Ites said he was pleased with how things were progressing on the West Highway venture.
"We've still got some work to do, but we're pretty close to where we were projecting the project would be at the beginning," Ites said. "We might even be a little ahead, since some of the subcontract work started early, so we're happy with where we're at at this point."
The goal of the project, which began in earnest earlier this summer, is to make the well-worn road safer to travel on with smooth pavement and to widen the road by four feet along four city blocks of the street.
The curb sections along West Highway stretching from 1st Street to 4th Street will be eliminated and paved over, increasing the width of the street along that area from 22 to 26 feet.
Once that work is completed by DNK Construction of Des Moines, Rohle Construction will repave the highway with an additional three inches of fresh asphalt, making the road slightly higher than before. Manhole covers will be raised along the street to compensate for the additional height caused by the new three-inch layer of asphalt, and culverts beneath M31 will be extended to accommodate the new width of the street above.
While work on the endeavor has caused a few inconveniences such as no heavy truck traffic and closed intersections, Ites said the response from the Alta community has been positive in regards to the project.
"Everybody's been very cooperative to us in response to the work we're doing," Ites said. "I know it's hard when you don't have the direct access to where you're located, but everybody's been very good about it. We've really appreciated how everyone has handled the situation in town."
The project was originally estimated to cost the city as much as $180,000, but Alta City Clerk Tom Huseman said the final bill for the city has been much smaller, as it will total a little over $100,000.
The construction along West Highway in Alta is part of a large county-sponsored enterprise which will focus on overhauling and repaving five miles of M31 in Buena Vista County over the course of this year.