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Iowa City Residents Speak Out Against Dubuque Street Project

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The Historic Preservation commission meeting on Thursday night was the latest round of conflict between a group of concerned residents living off of Dubuque Street and the city, as it attempts to move forward with the preferred alternative of the Gateway Plan. 
Residents asked the commission to rescind its previous approval of the preferred alternative, which would raise North Dubuque Street by 15 feet at some points between Foster Road and beyond the Park Road Bridge. Those opposed to the plan say it would negatively impact Iowa City's history. 
Those who live on the bluffs above North Dubuque Street said the plan would put five lanes of traffic 11 feet from their backyards. 
"I wish you could all stand back there and see that for yourself, because it's daunting," one resident said. 
They said the plan contradicts the commission's mission. 
"And that's because the spirit of your mission is inclusive of the whole. It's about the neighborhoods, it's about the properties, the landmarks, yes the structure, but the many elements of historic Iowa City, and why you're giving your time," said resident Steve Tannen. 
Joe Coulter, who lives in a house considered for the National Historic Registry, said the plan would actually reverse flood mitigation at his home, and act like a retaining wall for water. 
The residents were hoping that the commission would take a second, closer look at the plan before moving ahead with it. 
Tannen made the point that Iowa City has $25 million in flood mitigation money to spend, "but they can do it without destroying Iowa City to try to save Iowa City," he said. 
After also hearing a presentation from city planners, the commission decided to defer its decision on whether or not to rescind approval of the preferred alternative plan, and will meet again to discuss the issue in two weeks.  

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