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Bond sale helps to bolster street repairs

March 18, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Road work in 2012 will be far more ambitious than in years past.

With the sale of millions of dollars worth of bonds, street repairs over the spring and summer will greatly increase, said Lynn Couch, Marshalltown Public Works director.

The city council usually allocates $500,000 a year to the public works department. For 2012, it has allocated $7.5 million.

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"We are happy to start seeing some improvement in our road system," Couch said. "It's hard to come by money."

The influx of money will fund two major projects in town in addition to a few smaller projects and the regular mill and overlay and microsurfacing maintenance.

A total rebuild on Madison Street from Sixth Avenue to Fourth Street will take most of the summer, Couch said. The $1.8-million project will not encroach on the intersection of Third Avenue and Madison Street.

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The intersection of Madison and Sixth Ave. Madison street, shown here Friday afternoon, will see a $1.8-million rebuild from Sixth Street to Fourth Avenue starting in mid-May.

On Main and 13th Streets, road workers will remove the center section of the street to remove old trolley ties.

"Those logs were put in there in 1900," Couch said. "When you drive between Third and 13th on Main, you'll notice a ripple. That's where the ties are rotting away ... there is no way to correct it without taking them out."

Workers could mill and overlay the road, he said, but that would only act as a Band-Aid, not a permanent solution.

That project and the installation of a culvert to alleviate flooding on 13th Street near the Salvation Army will cost $1.4 million each, he said.

Smaller rebuilds will take place on Olive Street from First Street to Second Avenue and Southridge Road from First Avenue to the mall.

On Olive Street, workers will tear up the street and remove the island and move the traffic signal to the terrace. That project should take a couple months, Couch said.

Construction on most projects will start in mid-May with the last of them being completed by late October, Couch said.

Typically, he said, roughly 2.5 miles of road get treatment each year. This year, the city is treating 63 miles of street.

"We are going to make a real dent in these problems with the streets," he said.

Man on the street interviews reveal that many Marshalltown residents feel discontent with the condition of the roads in town. Over half of the dozen or so interviewed, when asked which roads needed to be repaired, said "all of them."

Luckily for the city, Couch said the mild winter helped limit the damage to streets.

"You don't generate as many potholes," he said. "The roads don't deteriorate so severely."


Contact David Alexander at 641-753-6611 or



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