Fairfield council hears report on completed sewer project

FAIRFIELD – Fairfield City Engineer Melanie Carlson updated the City Council during its meeting Monday of several construction projects that are underway or recently completed.

Among the most significant of those is the completion of the sewer along Libertyville Road. Two buildings in the area – the Jefferson County Health Center and Casey’s – were connected to the sanitary sewer before this project, but none of the homes or other buildings west of them were.

Now, all of the residences west of Casey’s and east of the dip in the road are connected to the city’s sewer.

Carlson said this is significant because many of the homes in that area relied on old septic systems, so replacing them with sewer connections will improve the local soil and water quality.

Not only that, but the new sewer will allow for future development of the area. One business is already planned to go in, a new child care center courtesy of Jefferson County Kids.

In other news, Carlson said the Iowa Department of Transportation has approved the city’s plan to install a roundabout at the intersection of South Highway 1 and Libertyville Road, and convert part of the road from two lanes to three lanes. A public hearing on the project is scheduled for the Dec. 14 council meeting.

The pedestrian improvements at the intersection of Burlington Avenue and Ninth Street are done. Carlson said the project will be ready to accept as final once the grass begins to grow in the landscaped areas. The redesigned intersection has two new crosswalks across Burlington Avenue, instead of requiring pedestrians to cross both Burlington and Ninth at the same time under the old configuration.

The project included:

• Repainting the existing crosswalks on Ninth Street.

• Adding pedestrian signals with a countdown clock at each crossing.

• Adding push buttons for pedestrians to signal their intention to cross.

• Making all curb ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Carlson said the city wants to use the same grant program that funded this project to fund other intersection upgrades in town. In particular, the city wants to upgrade the intersections at Second Street and Broadway Avenue, and Main Street and Burlington Avenue.

A portion of the Fairfield Loop Trail that was closed to accommodate sewer construction is now open. The portion is from Chautauqua Park to Walton Lake. Carlson said some people had been using the trail anyway despite signs telling them not to, but now the trail is officially open. The trail remains closed between Chautauqua Park and Middle Glasgow Road because that area is much wetter and has not been repaired.