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Dubuque Street Questions
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- City council members and Iowa City residents still have a lot of questions after a work session Tuesday night detailing the options for the city's proposed Gateway Project -- the plan to raise Dubuque Street and the Park Road bridge out of the flood plain.
Project managers showed the city council renderings of what the different options for the plan could look like. It gave residents and council members a better idea of how high the road would look at the 100-year-flood level plus 1 foot, the 2008 flood level plus 1 foot, and the 500-year-flood level plus 1 foot.
Still, residents like Nancy Carlson were concerned about the width of the road, as well, saying that could be the element that takes away from what Dubuque Street means to Iowa City.
"(It is) one of our icons. It's one of the things that makes Iowa City Iowa City. Totally different than any other city," Carlson said.
Carlson liked seeing what the rendering for each option looked like, but was concerned about what she couldn't see: specifically, how steep the grade of Dubuque Street would need to be to meet the height of the new bridge.
"The top of the bridge will be 5 to 8 feet taller than (Dubuque Street), which means that the intersection on Dubuque Street is going to have to be, besides the 500 plus 1 measurement, another 8 to 10 feet taller," she said.
But project manager Mark Pierson said that, once the council moves forward with a plan, a lot of those questions can be answered once the design is smoothed out.
One of the biggest concerns is limited backwater flooding from the Park Road bridge, which dumps a significant amount of water onto Dubuque. If the council chooses the highest bridge level, Pierson said the possibility exists that flood risk could be whittled down to almost nothing.
"And that's what we're really focused on with the bridge is that reduction of backwater and that benefit to upstream properties," said public works director Rick Fosse.
The city also addressed concerns about the overall process of the project that were initially brought up in a letter from the Association of Historic Preservation Commission to the Federal Highway Administration. Those concerns may require additional steps to be taken before the design stage can be entered. Because 26 percent of the $42 million project is federally funded, the city wants to wait for a response from the FHWA before allowing the council to make a decision, Fosse said.