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Highway 14/South Center St. construction to finish in October

T-R PHOTOS BY MIKE DONAHEY Looking south, Highway 14/South Center Street traffic attempts to move forward despite bumps, electronic signs, lane closures as construction crews replace and install road surface, curb and gutter and more. The project is funded and managed by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Summer in Iowa means highway and street construction and one major project in Marshalltown has had the attention of businesses, emergency responders and motorists since June.

It is on Highway 14 — a major four-lane thoroughfare through Marshalltown for decades.

From bumps to electronic signs to lane closures, motorists have had to be patient — and careful — in making their way.

The Iowa Department of Transportation awarded bids to contractors for pavement patching and resurfacing project underway south of Anson Street to Iowa Avenue. Other contractors have been busy repairing sidewalks and curbs impacted by the work.

This means South Center Street is a major work in progress. For some people and businesses, they are taking it in stride.

1st Rate Cutline 2: At least one business, 1st Rate Real Estate, has a seemingly positive outlook on the construction work with its message, “Progress ... is a bumpy, dusty road.” The company’s office has been significantly impacted by the project.

Joe Hobson, business manager at Jensen Ford-Lincoln, at 2805 S. Center is one.

“It has been hard to keep our cars clean with the dust raised from construction,” he said. “But we know it will be a good project when complete. The contractors are very thorough.”

Another business, 1st Rate Real Estate, 1610 S. Center St., put their opinion out for motorists and passers-by to see on their electronic sign.

It reads, “Progress … is a bumpy, dusty road.”

Marshalltown’s emergency responders are taking the project in stride too.

“We are trying to avoid South Center Street whenever possible, “ Deputy Fire Chief Chris Cross said. “We know drivers have enough on their mind without having to deal with emergency vehicles, so we want to be good neighbors. If we do get a call on South Center Street, we will evaluate equipment needs, and if possible, send out smaller units. However, we are prepared to act quickly with full equipment should the need arise.”

Marshalltown Chief of Police Mike Tupper said patrol units have not experienced any difficulties in responding to calls on South Center Street.

“We know of the challenges currently facing motorists, including us,” he said. “But we are prepared to work through those and are looking forward to a brand new surface when it is complete. It will be a plus for the community.”

Proximity to the center of Marshalltown was one of many factors which led a citizens committee to recommend the site at 909 S. Second St for the new joint police and fire facility, which opened Aug. 30.

Consequently, response time to South Center Street is less than when the police department was at 22 N. Center St. and the fire department at 107 S. First Ave.

Contractors will continue working on Highway 14 until they reach the Iowa River.

Oct. 18 is the estimated completion date weather permitting, according to the IDOT’s Marshalltown construction office.

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Contact Make Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com