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Road closures expected as Spring Thaw Asphalt Repair Project begins

Getting around the city of Lennox has been challenging this summer as work continues on the Central Basin Phase 2 project in the heart of the city. Under construction now in that area are portions of Elm Street, Fifth Avenue, Third Avenue, and Fourth Avenue.

Things are likely to get even more tricky the end of August when the Spring Thaw Asphalt Repair Project gets underway.

That repair project is slated to begin the last week of August. Contractor crews will be on-site to start repairing/patching the following streets: Fifth Avenue East, Boynton Avenue (multiple locations), Rummel Avenue, First Avenue West, Lincoln Street, Academy Street and a portion of Cedar Street.

The contractor will be removing the existing pavement, as well as approximately 12 inches of the road base. The existing clay base will be replaced with a new aggregate base, and the road surface will be restored with six inches of asphalt on Boynton and four inches of asphalt on remaining streets.

Many residents who’ve been traveling these severly damaged roads have been asking why it has taken so long to get repairs started.

City Administrator, Nathan Vander Plaats, said, “We would have preferred to have these trouble spots fixed months ago. The extent of the damage combined with the poor base conditions required the total replacement of many of these sections. Because of the size of the project, state law requires us to follow the formal bid process, which unfortunately adds weeks to months to project planning.”

The total project cost is $464,520.94. Because a portion of the project includes special assessments on Cedar Street, the final cost to taxpayers will be the total project cost minus the amount assessed to Cedar Street residents.

Vander Plaats said, “I’m expecting somewhere around $435,000.”

The low bid from Metro Construction was accepted at the July 8 city council meeting. The fudning package was also approved at that time,

Vander Plaats explained that the community is paying for the Spring Thaw Asphalt Repair Project through a 50/50 split between a short term loan and cash. The cash was identified through budget reductions in the general fund and reserves. Any costs above the $183,000 identified would come from the 2nd Penny Fund reserve.

Vander Plaats said, “There is no cap to this, other than to say that we don’t want to go into a negative balance in that fund. If we assume the $435,000 amount is our final bill, we would need approximately $69,000 from 2nd Penny Reserve.”

The fund balance for 2nd Penny as of July 31, 2019 is $597,001.37.

I’ve fielded some questions about why the City crews can’t address these repairs,” said Vander Plaats, “The reality is that we don’t have the equipment or staff necessary for jobs of this size. These projects require excavators, multiple trucks for material, paving machines, and a variety of other equipment.”

5th Avenue will be the first on the list, followed by Boynton. After that it is contractor’s discretion, a complete map of the areas to be repaired can be found BELOW.

Vander Plaats said, “This, as with any project, will be an inconvenience to folks trying to navigate around Lennox, particularly when you combine it with two other major construction projects. These projects are clear opportunities to move Lennox forward with higher-quality infrastructure.”

The project is scheduled to be completed in early October.

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