Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Construction has begun on Merrill Avenue on the north side of Fairfield.
The street is now torn up and blocked off to traffic. The traffic light at the intersection of Merrill and North Fourth Street (Highway 1 in that location) has been modified to a flashing red light, meaning traffic should treat the light like a stop sign.
Jones Contracting of West Point, Iowa, won the bid to resurface Merrill Avenue and the east-west road north of it, Carpenter Avenue, for about $249,000. The contractor began tearing up the road in late March. Fairfield City Engineer Melanie Carlson said the contractor will reopen Merrill before closing Carpenter.
Alliant Energy will replace the gas main along Merrill and Carpenter, and relocating two poles on Carpenter.
Carlson said the city has developed a scoring criteria to determine when streets need to be repaved. The criteria includes the amount of traffic on the road, the condition of the road, and proximity to essential services. This project repaving Merrill and Carpenter was developed before the city adopted the scoring criteria, and Carlson said she’s not sure if it would have affected the project’s timeline or not. On the one hand, the two streets have little traffic, but they were both in desperate need of repair.
Carlson said the city is preparing to replace a few more roads like this, that are low-traffic but in bad shape, such as 23rd Street from Burlington Avenue to Tyler Avenue, which connects the city’s main thoroughfare to the west industrial park.