The future of Dodge Street includes a massive construction project slated for 2023

Iowa City has announced plans for a two-year construction project for Dodge Street, and it asks for public input.


Michael Guhin

The Dodge St. sign is seen on Monday April 8, 2019. Dodge St. has been known to have poor conditions and will be under construction in the coming years. (Michael Guhin/The Daily Iowan)

Andy Mitchell, News Reporter

Iowa City has announced a future major construction project for Dodge Street in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Transportation, and the city seeks some public input.

The two-year project is projected to start in 2023 and cover a 1-mile stretch of Dodge Street. This section of the road is one-way southbound, and the project would pass through four Historic or Conservation Districts.

“We understand it’s time to make the next step in improving it,” Iowa City senior civil engineer Scott Sovers said.

Around 10 years ago, he said, Iowa City did an asphalt overlay on Dodge Street, and now the pavement condition has severely deteriorated. He said city officials are working on wrapping up a functional design plan.

“We’re hoping the first design phase will be completed in the next couple of months,” he said.

The project will center on replacing the pavement and a portion of public utilities in the corridor, some of which are more than 100 years old, according to a release on the city website. Four traffic stops, the storm-sewer system, and curbs will all be replaced.

In the near future, Sovers said, the city plans to resurface a portion of Dodge, narrow the lanes, and add a bike lane in the spring.

Sovers said the plan is different in nature from the construction going on with Governor Street, which is more of a rehabilitation project.

After the winter, Iowa City crews have been working on filling potholes in downtown.

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“We have not had a lot of complaints on the maintenance side of things,” Iowa City streets superintendent Brock Holub said in an email to The Daily Iowan. “Some potholes, but we managed OK through the winter.”

Sovers said a similar construction project occurred on Dodge Street when the road from Governor to Interstate 80 was restructured in 2005 and 2006.

A public open house for the construction project will be held April 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. in City Hall.

Iowa City Assistant City Manager Ashley Monroe said funding for the project will come from the city and from the Iowa Department of Transportation.

“On Dodge Street, the pavement condition is poor,” Monroe said. “Unfortunately, it takes years to get us to the point where we secure additional funding to do that.”

Monroe said the current estimate for the project cost is a little more than $13 million, with around $12 million going to construction and the other $1 million going toward the design and planning phase.

The tentative schedule is for the functional design plan to be completed in June. Preliminary and final designs should be finished by 2021, and construction should run from 2023 to 2024.