Keokuk will start the new year by doing more than $600,000 worth of street improvements. Mayor Tom Richardson said while that’s a good start, the city is just scratching the surface of the repairs that are needed.
“And it breaks my heart because I see people looking at me,” said Richardson. “I want S. 18th Street done from Main Street to the National Cemetery. I want to do that, but we may see a block of that [this year] and it’s just frustrating for me.”
Richardson said Keokuk would like to do more but cannot afford it, largely because of the federally mandated sewer separation project, which is costing the city more than $75 million. While that has resulted in new streets atop the new sewer lines, it has also limited the city’s ability to borrow money for additional work.
As for the upcoming $600,000 in work, which will be funded with local tax dollars, the city plans to repair about a dozen blocks on the south side of Main Street.
- S. 13th Street (Palean to Johnson)
- S. 16th Street (Main to Johnson)
- S. 17th Street (Main to Johnson)
- S. 21st Street (Timea to alley between Exchange & Johnson)
- Bank Street (S. 22nd to S. 18th)
Crews will grind away the first 3-4 inches of driving surface and replace it with asphalt. Construction bids are due January 29 and a public hearing on the project is scheduled for February 7.
The city hopes the work will be completed this summer.