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Under construction

5th Street intersection closed through mid-July for signal project Council updated on current projects
The east side of the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street will be closed for construction of a traffic signal until mid-July, according to City Engineer Dave Schechinger. (photo by Doug Lindner)

SOLON– It will be mid-July before the intersection of Highway 1 and 5th Street opens back up.
Eastbound through traffic on 5th Street has been diverted around construction of a traffic signal, and paving is scheduled for July 13-14, according to City Engineer Dave Schechinger.
During a June 17 city council meeting, Schechinger said crews are currently working on sewer and sub-drain, with subgrade scheduled for the following week. The work is expected to increase the intersection’s radius, widening the southeast corner by about 10 feet.
At a meeting on May 6, Solon City Council members approved a low bid of $286,931.50 from Price Electric of Robins for the project. Work began Monday, June 15.
Improvements include traffic signals with video detection and LED signal heads, pedestrian countdown signal heads, push buttons and signage similar to Highway 1 at its intersection with Main Street, completed in late 2016.
Over 11,000 vehicles were traveling either the northbound or southbound lane of Highway 1 at the 5th Street intersection on a daily basis, according to a traffic flow study by the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County (MPOJC) in April and September of 2017.
After paving, the project will be placed on hold until custom fabricated poles are delivered sometime in October, with installation soon after, Schechinger said.
Later in the meeting, council members approved a $8,677contract with Terracon Consultants, of Cedar Rapids, to provide certified inspection services, something required as part of the $217,000, grant received through the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Improvement Program (TSIP) for the project.
Terracon is the agency typically used by the city for the testing of concrete and soils, the engineer stated.
Schechinger reported little progress on the North Trunk Sewer project, which has environmental clearances but is being delayed by the procurement of easements.
City Attorney Kevin Olson noted two easements are still needed. He indicated deadlines would be set and he would continue to work with sheriff’s office to move forward.
The North Trunk will be a buried sewer line, connected directly with the wastewater treatment center on the west side of town, replacing an older line serving the Windmill Estates, Fox Ridge and Prairie Acres subdivisions.
The project spans about 4,600 feet with 24- or 15-inch sewer pipe, impacting a half-dozen properties with a price tag exceeding $1 million.
The city expects to utilize the state’s revolving loan fund to finance the expense.
Public Works Director Scott Kleppe also provided an update on his department’s activities.
Kleppe noted a flash flood earlier in the month threatened the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
“We made it through OK,” he said. “It was touch and go for several hours because of having one pump down.”
By the end of the evening, Kleppe said, staff had all three pumps back up and running and performing well, with stand-by portable pumps ready to go.
Check valves in a lift station at the treatment plant were replaced by Mississippi Pump at a cost of nearly $9,000, he said. Kleppe is still waiting for a proposal to replace one of the facility’s pumps.
Public works also relocated 14 trees planted by Solon High School students for an Earth Day project several years ago along Racine Avenue, he said. The trees had grown to the point they needed to be separated.
Three trees were re-planted near the Solon Recreation and Nature Area’s Timber DOME Lodge, and 11 went to the Fox Ridge neighborhood park.
Staff also removed some overgrown bushes at the intersection of South Iowa Street and 5th Street with the consent of the property owner, he reported.
The project was undertaken as a community service and to enhance the site of the intersection, Kleppe added.
“We’ve done so much in the last month my head just spins thinking about everything that we’ve done,” he said.
Council member Lynn Morris thanked Kleppe for taking the bushes down, saying it helped a lot.

Young resident wanted to volunteer time
Powerwashed and painted all the structures at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
“Some of these structures haven’t been painted for 20 years plus.”
Completed painting yesterday
Michael Printy
Publicly like to thank him for his endeavor.
“He did a great job.”