Crews with the Dallas County Road Department are gearing up for warmer weather with a variety of repair and replacement projects in the works for county roads and bridges, according to County Engineer Jim George, who outlined his department’s five-year plan for the board of supervisors at its March 25 meeting in Adel.
One of the first projects to affect drivers will be the March 31 closure of the bridge on County Road P58/L Avenue about two miles north of US Interstate 80.
The bridge over the South Raccoon River will be closed to traffic for three to four weeks, George said, while workers from the Van Meter-based Cunningham-Reis construction company replace the bridge’s joints and approach pavements at a cost to Dallas County taxpayers of about $58,000.
George said signs would be posted directing drivers to an alternate route.
A much larger and costlier project is the scheduled replacement of seven miles of paved road between Redfield and Dexter.
Repaving the two miles of 310th Street and five miles of Dexfield Road will take about eight weeks and cost about $3.25 million, according to the contract awarded to Henningsen Construction out of Atlantic.
The road was first surfaced with a six-inch concrete slab in 1968. Plans call for the old concrete to be crushed and reused as the base and shoulder material for the new eight-inch asphalt pavement, which will be laid in three layers.
Dexter and Redfield residents will have an opportunity at a public hearing in late April to weigh in on the project before it begins.
Local access will be maintained for property owners during the two-month project.
Other summer jobs include replacement of the Sportsman Club Bridge just north of Adel.
Dating from 1957, the bridge will be replaced with a reinforced concrete box.
Bids on the project will be let in early summer, with the work expected to be completed in the fall.
The Indian Avenue bridge over Panther Creek, about two miles south of Iowa Highway 44, is also scheduled for reinforcement. Cunningham-Reis will do this job for about $59,000.
Another summer paving project will see pavement joints on the Dawson Road/D Avenue between Iowa Highways 141 and 44 sealed by Mingo-based Denco Construction for about $140,000.
The county is crossed by 190 miles of paved roadways and 700 miles of rock and gravel roads, along with 150 bridges.
Keeping this transportation infrastructure in good repair, which is crucial to the prosperity of Dallas County’s agricultural sector, cost county taxpayers about $8 million in 2012, making the secondary roads department the largest line in the county budget, followed by the sheriff’s office and courts at $7.5 million and mental health and developmental disabilityservices at $4.8 million.