Redbud Reconstruction Race Is On As RAGBRAI Draws Near

The route out of Glenwood for the start of RAGBRAI on July 21.

Some concrete has been poured on the north and west side of Redbud Avenue.

The crew from Bluffs Paving and Utility works at the Redbud Avenue road reconstruction site on Monday afternoon.

The dry weather in the forecast couldn’t come at a better time for the Redbud Avenue reconstruction project on the eastern edge of the Glenwood city limits.

The project still has a ways to go before it’s completed, but in 11 days, Redbud is slated to serve as the road out of town for the start of RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). More than 10,000 bicyclists have registered to make the seven-day, 434-mile trek across the state from Glenwood to Burlington.

Questions and concerns about the status of the road were voiced at a RAGBRAI planning meeting at City Hall on Monday, but city officials remain confident the road will be paved in time for the start of the ride.

“The plan is, worst-case scenario, you have one lane open, but the weather is turning so hopefully we’ll get it all poured and ready to roll,” Glenwood City Administrator Amber Farnan said. “I don’t know if the shoulders will be finished.”

A crew from Bluffs Paving and Utility (city contractor) started pavement removal on May 20. The project was initially forecasted to be completed by July 1, but a wetter than normal stretch of weather in June caused some delays and work stoppages.

“They got backed up because of the rain,” Farnan said.

Farnan said the entire north and west side of the road (high school side) is being poured first. Although not ideal, the new surface on that side of the road could be utilized for the RAGBRAI traffic at the start of the ride if the east and south lane is not poured by the weekend of July 20-21.

A worker at the reconstruction site expressed confidence on Monday, stating that with a dry week of weather, the plan is to have paving on both sides of the road completed by next Tuesday (July 16). That does not include shoulder and driveway work.

Redbud is one of two major road resurfacing projects going on in Glenwood this summer, along with North Locust Street.

Western Engineering is contracted for the Locust Street project, a joint effort between the City of Glenwood and Iowa Department of Transportation. The Locust Street project, which was also forecasted  to be completed before RAGBRAI weekend, involves cutting out some areas of the road and pouring new concrete. After the concrete has cured, an asphalt overlay will be placed over the entire road.

Farnan is uncertain if the Locust Street work will get completed before RAGBRAI weekend.

“I do know the second phase, doing the overlay, will be lot a shorter, but I don’t know when they’ll be ready to do that,” she said.

Unlike Redbud Avenue, Locust Street is not on the official RAGRAI route, but the road does serve as the city’s primary north-south thoroughfare and entry point into town from both directions.

The Opinion-Tribune

116 S Walnut St Glenwood, IA 51534-1665
P.O. Box 377, Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-527-3191
Phone: 712-623-2566
Fax: 712-527-3193

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