Construction season is in full force as crews work to repave roads, replace bridges and culverts or improve the quality of area highways.
In order to avoid the headache of being stuck in delays, plan detours now for these major road construction projects going on in and around Union County.
Portions of REA Road in Union County will be closed effective today through approximately Oct. 1, 2014, while construction crews work to replace two box culverts.
For eastbound traffic, the detour heads south on Quail Avenue before heading back east on 130th Street. The road curves back north and becomes Grandriver Drive. The detour curves onto 120th Street and continues north on Strawberry Lane.
The final leg of the detour goes east on 110th Street, officially ending at Warbler Avenue north of Lorimor.
Crews added more gravel on 130th Street to allow easier access in case their is a need for emergency services.
Motorists have been navigating around another construction project that has closed down a section of Highway 34.
Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) reported the bridge carrying Highway 34 over the Platte River — 1.3 miles west of Iowa 25 — closed while crews work to replace it.
“I would say they are between 15 to 20 percent complete on the bridge and about 15 percent through their total working days. said Scott Nixon, IDOT resident construction engineer. “We are still working on getting ready to pour the pier and the bottom of the pier is below the stream bed.”
Weather is always a major factor for crews being able to work, but when heavy rainfall made the stream rise, it can cause problems and force the workers to wait longer before resuming construction.
“It totally shuts them down,” Nixon said. “Once the water comes back down, then they have to dig out the silt that washed in, wash off silt and make sure everything is still in place.”
This project detours traffic on a paved route. It sends westbound traffic south on Highway 25, west on Taylor County Road J-13 (110th Street) and north on Taylor/Adams County Road N-64 to Highway 34.
Eastbound traffic will be directed south on Adams/Taylor County Road N-64, east on Taylor County Road J-13 (110th Street) and north on Iowa 25 to U.S. 34.
Nixon said the bridge is traveled by more than 2,000 motorists and will reopen as late as early September.
Construction crews from Cunningham-Reis Company of Van Meter will also grade and pave approximately 1,500 feet of approach pavement as part of the $2 million bridge replacement.
Union County projects
The other major construction projects to plan accordingly for this summer will be on Cromwell Road and High and Dry Road.
The plan is to patch the roads, then grind the concrete to get ready to place stabilizing dowel bars. The dowel bars interlock the joints of each concrete slab to make the road more vertically stable.
Crews will be working on the Cromwell Road and High and Dry Road simultaneously. The late start date for the project is Aug. 18, but Akes is hopefully they will start the project in July.
Both roads should be completed within the 40-day contract.
“At night people will be able to use the whole road,” Akes said. “There will be delays (during the day), so people may end up going a different way because it will be a little quicker.”
The dowel bars retrofit design still allows the concrete to expand and contrast with temperature, but will prevent the small bumps between each slab as vehicles drive across.
Akes said installing the dowel bars should make the road smoother and extend the life of both roads.
Both projects are being paid for with farm-to-market road funds from the IDOT and through a federally funded program.