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Construction begins next week on Highway 1

SOLON– The summer of construction for Solon residents begins next week.
The city’s two major infrastructure improvement projects for 2012– Highway 1’s intersection with 5th Street, and a facelift for Main Street– have been awarded to contractors.
Construction on the Highway 1 intersection is slated to begin June 20 with substantial completion by mid-August, while no schedule has been set for the Main Street streetscape project.
For Solon residents, both will present difficulties over a good part of the summer, with the Main Street overhaul stretching into the fall.
At a special meeting May 30, the members of the Solon City Council approved the winning bids for the project.
Construction of the Highway 1 intersection was awarded to L.L. Pelling of North Liberty with a bid of $450,968.05, according to Solon City Administrator Cassandra Lippincott. Pelling was one of only two bidders.
The reconstruction of the intersection with 5th Street will add left-hand turn lanes for both north- and southbound Highway 1 traffic.
The idea for a plan to address traffic congestion at the intersection has been on the table for about five years. Council members began discussing the need as a result of the proposed construction of Bridge Community Bank back in 2008.
Early design work indicated an additional lane of traffic on the east side of the highway would be the least disruptive for construction. The intersection does not qualify for signalization, but the city is receiving funding for 55 percent of construction costs from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
A preconstruction meeting was held Thursday, June 7, Lippincott reported.
While northbound traffic will remain on Highway 1, a detour will be in place for southbound traffic.
Lippincott said southbound vehicles will be diverted at Main Street and redirected down Dubuque Street to its junction with Stinocher Street. Motorists will reconnect with Highway 1 at its intersection with Stinocher, she said.
Both Highway 1 and Main Street are expected to be open during the weekend of Beef Days, Lippincott confirmed.
Few other details are known about the schedule for the Main Street streetscape project.
The city council awarded the project to All American Concrete of West Liberty, with a winning bid of $892,510.60, including two alternate bids which would extend the scope of the work to both the east and west.
The downtown renovation project will include the asphalt resurfacing of Main Street from 50 feet east of Highway 1 to West Street, as well as the installation of curb and gutter, new sidewalks, ornate lighting and handicapped accessibility for buildings on the route. Also included will be the relocation of existing overhead power lines and decorative components such as colored concrete stamping and pavers in the intersections.
Construction is expected to commence later this month, with substantial completion by the end of October.
City officials anticipate knowing more about the schedule for the Main Street renovation after a preconstruction meeting. A date for that meeting has not yet been set.