Upcoming Fifth Avenue South project explained

A section of busy Fifth Avenue South in Fort Dodge will receive upgrades this spring that will go above and beyond fixing potholes.

That road between 31st and 32nd streets will get an overhaul to match what has already been done farther west as part of the Corridor of Commerce project.

Drivers can expect traffic restrictions, especially during the repaving portion of the job.

“There will be head-to-head traffic,” City Engineer Tony Trotter said Wednesday.

He briefed the board of the Commercial Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District on the project Wednesday.

The project includes these key elements:

• Grinding off the existing asphalt and putting down new asphalt;

• Repairing the pavement between 32nd Street and the bridge that carries Fifth Avenue South over a drainage ditch;

• Creating sidewalks on both sides of Fifth Avenue South;

• Building pedestrian crosswalks at the intersections;

• Putting up limestone pillars and other decorative elements at the corners;

• Putting up black metal fencing;

• Installing new street lights.

The limestone pillars will match those put up at other Fifth Avenue South intersections as part of the Corridor of Commerce project. But Trotter said the pillars will not be placed at the northwest side of Fifth Avenue South and 32nd Street because Shimkat Motor Co. already has landscaping there.

The pedestrian crosswalks will be made of brick pavers rather than stamped and colored concrete. Trotter said the brick pavers at Fifth Avenue South and 29th Street are in “great shape.” The same method used there will be used to install the pavers at 31st and 32nd streets, he said.

The biggest traffic restrictions will happen during the paving process. When the construction crews are working on the eastbound lanes, all traffic will be moved to the westbound lanes, with one lane going in each direction. When the westbound lanes are being worked on, all traffic will be moved to the eastbound side.

On Monday, the City Council hired Castor Construction, of Fort Dodge, to do the work at a cost of $1,084,500.65.

Trotter said the work is expected to start in mid-April and be completed in mid-June.

The Commercial Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District extends along Fifth Avenue South between 15th and 32nd streets. Within that district, commercial property owners pay an extra property tax of $1 per $1,000 of taxable value to help pay for maintenance and projects within the district.

The district was established last year.