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1st Avenue Upgrade
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -
From decades old water mains, to above ground power lines, they are the many complaints for Residents in the Kenwood park neighborhood.
"This is one if the last segments on first avenue that has not been redone in the last decade or so," Erica Yoder, Kenwood Park Neighborhood Association President.
After years of waiting, however, First Avenue through Kenwood is getting the upgrade many say it needs.
"We are planning on improving first avenue and doing some safety improvements," said Jeff Morrow, a project manager with Anderson-Bogert, the firm working on the project. They held a public hearing Monday night with the community to gather public input and to update residents on the project.
Many of those outdated utilities will get an upgrade, but he says improving the pedestrian experience is their priority - starting with sidewalks.
"We're adding six foot sidewalks on both sides of the street," Morrow said. "Some parts of the corridor don't have sidewalks, others have 4 foot sidewalks, which are pretty narrow."
They're also looking to add trees and walking trails. As far as traffic improvements are concerned, potholes are on the list. They're also looking to decrease the high accident rate at 29th street. In addition, getting streets in aligned is a must.
"27th street and 40th street are both offset, so its very difficult to know where you're going when you're making a left turn," Morrow said.
Yoder is optimistic about the direction of the project.
"Hopefully they'll cone up with a project that is a benefit to everybody."
She says 'everybody' because she doesn't want the business community to get lost in the shuffle - before, during and after construction.
"We want whatever the project is to be business friendly, because we want to support the businesses in our neighborhood." Yoder said.
In terms of the timeline on the project, some utilities are currently being moved now. Morrow says power lines may not be moved underground because of the high cost Construction on phase one, 34th street to 40th street, should be completed by 2016. Phase 2, 27th to 41st street will be finished by 2018. The total cost of the project will be 10 million dollars, and aided by federal and state grants.