Frequently asked questions about planned Front Street improvements

In the spring of 2018, North Liberty plans to rebuild Front Street between Zeller and Cherry streets. This project is the first local project being funded by state’s 10¢ increase to road-use (gas) tax, which the city council plans to invest in the streets in North Liberty’s original neighborhood.

This project will replace Front Street with a 29-foot-wide curb-and-gutter road between Zeller and Cherry streets; replace Chestnut and Walnut streets where they connect to Front Street; install new 5-foot-wide sidewalks along both sides of Front Street, including ADA compliant curb ramps at intersections; replace the existing clay sanitary sewer and water main; replace sanitary and water services through the right-of-way; and add a storm sewer system.

What are the benefits?
A new, wider, concrete roadway with wider sidewalks, new water services and curb stops as well as new sanitary services up to the city right-of-way line. Drainage will be improved and the open ditches will be removed. New concrete driveway approaches will also be installed between the new sidewalk and roadway.

What will be the project cost me?
Nothing. The city maintains a policy of not charging assessments to adjacent property owners when temporary construction easements are granted at no cost.

How long will my home be impacted?
The project is expected to take place during the 2018 construction season, beginning in the early spring and finishing in the late fall. Work will most likely begin at Zeller Street and work its way north. Phasing will allow the work to be broken up, likely between city blocks, to reduce the amount of time individual properties are impacted.

How will I be able to access my home during construction?
Access to homes and garages will be maintained during construction by phasing and temporary gravel access drives placed generally along the existing sidewalk. Short durations of driveway closures will be necessary for some utility installations and the reconstruction of the driveway approach.

What will be the impacts to me or my property?
We’ve made an effort to minimize impacts to properties, and will restore disturbed lawns and driveway aprons as part of the project. A few trees in the city right-of-way will need to be removed, but the project design allows for as many trees as possible to be saved. There will be little to no impacts to fences and driveways behind the existing sidewalk. Installation of new water and sanitary mains and services to the city right-of-way line will cause short periods of outages as well as require some excavation on your property, which will be restored as part of the project, though property owners will be responsible for any water service replacement past the curb stop. A 7-foot wide temporary construction easement will be necessary to complete all of the work along the new sidewalks and for your new water and sanitary service connections. There will also be regular construction noise, limited to daylight hours; the exception is for saw cutting of concrete, the timing of which is critical and may be required at off hours.

Who will be the contractor?
This won’t be determined until the project is awarded in mid-March. It will be the contractor’s discretion as to the means and methods of construction, while following the project plans and North Liberty code. After a contractor is selected, the city will host a meeting to introduce residents to the on-site construction superintendent and inspection staff.

What might cause delays?
Front Street is an old street, in an older area of town, and excavating for the new roadway and utility installations may turn up a few surprises, such as abandoned and unknown utility lines. Discoveries such as these take time to address. As with any construction project, weather is a big factor that can cause delays, both with a construction start date and mid-construction.