The Woodward City Council Monday night heard a progress report from Woodward Public Works Director Chris Newland on the $2.19 million street repaving project currently underway in the town. Newland said he expects the work to be done by July 1.
Once excavation is complete, Grimes Asphalt will begin laying down hot mix asphalt, dividing the work into five phases, Newland said. With a few exceptions, streets west of Main Street will be paved in phases one, two and three, and streets east of Main Street will be paved in phases four and five.
“Fifth Street will be the last phase,” Newland said. “They want to do it in one long pave, and the box culverts will be in.”
The West Des Moines engineering firm of Veenstra and Kimm Inc. is the lead designer and engineer on the repaving project, with Ames-based J & K Contracting and Grimes Asphalt providing the excavation and asphalt.
On Tuesday morning, James Graf, crew leader with J & K Contracting said the company’s work laying pipe and installing culverts at cross streets could be finished in as few as seven more working days. Newland said Grimes Asphalt will begin shortly after J & K’s work is done.
The Woodward City Council also approved the first partial payment of about $310,000 to Grimes Asphalt at its Monday meeting. The motion carried unanimously.
Several council members made comments and suggestions to Newland about details of the project. Council member Richard Hartwig encouraged J & K to minimize heavy-equipment damage to streets not scheduled for repaving. Council member Dave Luke said he has received several calls about the project from residents and encouraged all Woodward citizens to be patient and stay calm during the repaving process.
Later in July, after repaving is complete, Minburn Communications will begin laying fiber optic cable throughout the town. Woodward Mayor Brian Devick said he and Newland met with representatives of Minburn Communications and Rapid City, S.D.-based Black Hills Energy, the city’s gas provider, to coordinate the work.
The fiber optic project will require 8-inch-diameter holes to be drilled through the newly paved streets at about 20 places around town. The holes permit visual inspection, ensuring the cable is laid well clear of gas lines.
“Minburn Communications will work with us to minimize the number of cores in the streets,” Devick told the council. He said scheduling conflicts made it impossible to lay the telecommunications cable prior to repaving the streets.
“They’ve already made changes to their design to minimize the places where phone lines and gas lines cross,” Devick said. “The holes are minimal compared to what we have to do when we dig up a street to repair a water main, and that does happen.”
In March Minburn Communications received a $4.7 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade Woodward’s copper network to fiber and provide subscribers with voice, broadband and video service.
Several council members expressed concern about the structural integrity of cement fill used to patch the 8-inch holes and wanted assurance from Minburn Communications of their responsibility for any future failures in the patches.
“Get it in writing,” Luke said.
In other business, the council discussed plans for the June 5-6 Woodward Friends ‘N Neighbors Day, including licensing the Woodward Volunteer Fire Department to sell alcohol at the event. Woodward Police Officer Joe Cox was also commended by the council for his diligence in fostering goodwill and an atmosphere of trust in the community .