Oleson Park entrances to get overhaul

-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
The Oleson Park Bandshell is one of the key features of Oleson Park in southern Fort Dodge. Additional handicapped accessible parking will be created near it under a contract awarded by the City Council Monday.

Driving into Oleson Park will be a different experience by the end of this year.

The days of turning into the north or south sides of the park and driving from one end to the other, passing through the main parking lot on the way, will end.

Two new entrances to the parking lot will be created off of Oleson Park Avenue, while the north and south entrances will be modified so that no one will be able to drive across the entire length of the park.

Those changes will be perhaps the most noticeable ones created as a result of a contract awarded by the Fort Dodge City Council on Monday.

The council hired Jensen Builders Ltd., of Fort Dodge, to perform a number of road, sidewalk and other changes at a cost of $560,430.06.

-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
A deer ambles through the deer enclosure at Oleson Park Monday afternoon. The Fort Dodge City Council on Monday awarded a contract for road, sidewalk and parking improvements at the park.

The company will:

• Modify the north entry to the park by creating a turning area and a small parking area while eliminating access to the main parking lot.

• Create two new entries to the main parking area off of Oleson Park Avenue.

• Create a turning area at the south entrance to the park, eliminating access from there to the main parking lot.

• Set up more handicapped accessible parking near the bandshell.

• Build sidewalks connecting the splash pad, cabin, bandshell and deer pen.

• Do earthmoving for a new pond.

• Install new storm sewers and sanitary sewers.

• Bury electric lines that are now overhead.

Lori Branderhorst, the city’s director of parks, recreation and forestry, said the work will give the park a ”whole cleaned- up fresh look.”

”I’m excited,” she added.

The work is to be done by Dec. 31.

Branderhorst said the park will remain open while the work is underway.

”Our intent is everything is always going to be open,” she said.

The work was envisioned in a master plan for the park that was adopted by the City Council in November 2016.

Other bidders for the contract awarded Monday were Woodruff Construction, of Fort Dodge $595,747; and Crow River Construction, of New London, Minnesota, $643,910.