The Winterset City Council began work Monday night for plans to fix 10th Street on the east side of town.

Tenth Street will be a “phased project” according to Fox Engineering consultant John Gade. 

Winterset received a $1.3 million grant to address issues on 10th Street. Experts say they plan to separate the three-quarter mile project into two parts: one part is East Lane Street north to Iowa Hwy. 92, and the other stretches from East Lane Street south to Court Avenue.

The first phase will be the northern portion of 10th Street.

City council members were polled whether they would prefer a rural approach to the project, which would mean retaining the 24-foot wide street as well as gravel shoulder and ditches from East Lane to Hwy. 92, or an urban approach, which would mean a 31-foot wide street with turning lanes as well as formal curb and gutter. 

Easements would have to be obtained for the project. The urban approach would allow the nine area land owners, from whom the easements would have to be obtained, to have their driveways returned to the present condition: those that are paved would be repaved, while those with gravel drives would have gravel drives re-installed. Additionally, turning lanes would be installed.

The council opted for an urban approach to the project, even though the $1.3 million grant would not cover all of the construction costs. It appears the city would be at least $90,000 short for the more expensive urban plan.

Engineer John Gade told the council that the company has conducted soil boring, and also has had a drone flyover of the project to obtain high-resolution photos.

Gade says the present paved portion of the street is about six inches thick. There are, however, drainage issues, and issues with the existing street experiencing continued heavy truck traffic. Gade says there is also poor soil under the existing street.

“Fifty percent of the pavement should be removed and replaced,” Gade told the council. 

The engineer also said that when it comes time to do phase two – the area south of East Lane Street south to Court Avenue – about 21 percent of 10th Street will need work. At the present time, there is no budget to finance the southern portion of the 10th Street project. 

Estimates are that it would take $2.3 million to remove and replace the paving on that portion of tenth street, or about $370,000 for patching.

Plans will be to provide access to all business owners at all times during work on the project, which will likely begin next spring.

“We will need easements to remove and replace private drives,” Gade said.

Officials are hoping to formalize the project by September and have the paving project put out to bid by the Iowa DOT in mid-January. Construction would begin in the spring of 2021.

The project included no trail or sidewalk area. There also would be no new street lights installed and no water line work or sanitary improvements.

Councilman Trevor Bindel opined that the urban approach to the project would be preferable to both the city and business owners along 10th Street.

“I think that’s the way to go,” he said.

That will mean paying landowners for right-of-way, which experts estimate would cost in the neighborhood of $30,000. The cost of driveways is yet to be determined.

Engineers say they should be able to begin work on engineering documents within the next several weeks.

Reporter at the Winterset Madisonian. He has also been the managing editor at the Madisonian.