By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
Several years after the Clinton School District started developing plans for a turn lane into Eagle Heights Elementary School, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the city of Clinton have agreed to move forward with the project.
As a condition of having access to Eagle Heights from Main Avenue, which is a state highway, the school district must put in a turn lane for eastbound traffic trying to turn onto Rolling Hills Drive to enter the school.
The process was previously delayed because the three parties working on the project could not come to a consensus over engineering documents.
Engineer Dick Ransom, with Hall and Hall Engineering, explained to Clinton School Board members this week what progress has occurred to get the project going again.
“We were challenged last summer to come up with alternatives that would allow for the turn lane constructed and I think the DOT and the city have been patient working with this,” Ransom said.
The alternatives that were agreed to include widening the road to the south, which would require Alliant Energy to run the utilities underground. A short retaining wall will also be constructed on the south side of the road.
“Through that process we’ve been able to overcome some of the concerns that the DOT had and we’ve been able to negotiate with property owners and essentially we’re going to rebuild their driveways where they are. We’re just going to change the slopes,” Ransom said.
The project is expected to cost $250,000, which will be funded entirely by the district through the one cent sales tax.
Work will begin in May and be complete before school is in session again. Commercial vehicles will be detoured during construction because of restricted road widths, but the road will not be closed.
Traffic into Eagle Heights would only be interrupted for one day in early August in order for asphalt resurfacing.
During a phone interview with the Clinton Herald, City Engineer Jason Craft said the project will be beneficial to everyone who travels the road.
“When you have that much traffic that’s turning left from Main Avenue onto Rolling Hills Drive that creates a dangerous situation. So this turn lane will alleviate some of that and make this a safer intersection,” Craft said.
The school board unanimously approved the engineering documents for the project. A public hearing will be held March 25. After the public hearing, the project will be put out for bid. Bids will be received by April 3.