The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Portion of Dubuque Street to be entirely reconstructed next spring

The $3.75 million project will update the street and sidewalks as well as the underlying infrastructure in the area.
The+Iowa+City+City+Council+listens+to+public+comment+during+a+City+Council+meeting+in+Iowa+City+on+Tuesday%2C+Oct.+3%2C+2023.+
Isabella Tisdale
The Iowa City City Council listens to public comment during a City Council meeting in Iowa City on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023.

A portion of Dubuque Street between cross streets Washington Street and Iowa Avenue will be entirely reconstructed starting in spring 2024 and is expected to be completed by fall 2024.

The Iowa City City Council unanimously voted to begin the process of starting the construction project at its meeting on Tuesday night. According to the meeting’s agenda, the project is estimated to cost around $3.75 million.

The project aims to improve not only the road and the sidewalks around it but also sanitary, sewer, water main systems, lighting, parking meters, and landscaping, such as plants and mulch, around the area.

The portion of the street roughly runs from store Raygun to restaurant St. Burch Tavern. The alleyway between Dubuque and Linn Streets, which runs between Sports Column and Deadwood Tavern, will also be reconstructed. 

The reason why this project is needed is because of the aging and deteriorating state of the pavement and utility infrastructure underneath the area, City of Iowa City Senior Engineer Alin Dumachi said.

Dumachi said the many utilities that run underneath this stretch of the street have led to more rapid deterioration of the pavement and a constant need for repairs. The current water main is from the early 1900s, and the pavement is around 40 years old, he said.

While that portion of the street will be closed off to vehicular traffic, businesses along the street and pedestrians will still be able to make their way through, Dumachi said. 

In the past, the city has also considered using the empty lot across from the Senior Center on the corner of Washington and Linn Streets as an area to store construction equipment to minimize its disruption to the community. 

Eventually, some sidewalks in front of businesses along the stretch of Dubuque Street, including St. Burch Tavern, Which Wich, and The Shop, may have to temporarily close or change hours while the sidewalks in front are replaced, Dumachi said. 

The city will coordinate with the businesses affected by the project to lessen the disruption as much as possible, he said.

During the meeting, Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague asked how the construction on sidewalks would affect sidewalk cafes. A construction company for the project will be selected in early January.

Ron Knoche, Iowa City public works director, in response said the city council would have to waive the fees for sidewalk cafes in areas impacted by construction, and sidewalk cafes won’t be able to set up until after the construction has been completed in front of the business that owns it.

“What you’ll see with the reconstruction and the layout of the new Dubuque Street streetscape, those businesses that now have street cafes will no longer have those,” Knoche said. “They’ll be all on the sidewalks instead of being out in those parking areas.”

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About the Contributors
Isabelle Foland, News Editor
(she/her)
Isabelle Foland is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Spanish. She is a second-year news reporter at The Daily Iowan, reporting mainly on Iowa City City Council. She is from Missouri Valley, Iowa and has reported for her hometown paper prior to her time at The DI.
Isabella Tisdale, Photojournalist
(she/her)
Isabella Tisdale is a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan and is a senior at West High school. In her free time, she stage manages for the theater program at West High. She plans to double major in political science and journalism.