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City of Marion moves forward with Armar Drive project
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · June 15th, 2017

The Marion City Council voted at its regular meeting on June 8, 2017, to award a contract to Rathje Construction Company, Inc. to build a segment of street so that Armar Drive will extend south through a portion of Marion to join with Highway 100 (Collins Road) that goes east toward Menards.

Armar Drive currently goes east from First Avenue in Cedar Rapids past Carlos O'Kelly's and other companies and then curves south. It lies within a chunk of Cedar Rapids and ends where the city limits of Cedar Rapids end, in an area that contains condos and similar housing. The red area on the accompanying map shows the triangular-shaped piece of land within Marion's city limits.

Rathje will complete the short section shown that extends into the red area.

Highway 100 is shown with the dark blue line, Armar Drive is light blue and the Cedar Rapids/Marion boundary is in pink. So the new portion is from the pink line to the dark blue one.

According to Assistant City Engineer Mike Barkalow, proceeding with this little segment of street is a positive move. It will give people an alternative, and perhaps more direct, route to their destinations, and it will help ease the traffic on First Avenue/Marion Boulevard.

Rathje bid the project at $329,618.65, a cost considerably lower than the engineering department had expected (62 percent of the department's original estimate). Work is to begin by July 31 and be done in 60 working days, with liquidation damages of $300 per day for each calendar day over the 60.

In other street work, L.L. Pelling is currently resurfacing a number of streets in Marion. The first group of them has been completed. These are Keyes Court from Marion Boulevard to Blairs Ferry Road, 7th Street from 9th Avenue to Central Avenue, 14th Avenue from 24th Street to 26th Street, and 3rd Street from 3rd Avenue to 5th Avenue.

Pelling will work on these streets between now and the 4th of July: Knollcrest Drive from Keyes Court to Blairs Ferry Road, Grand Avenue from South 15th Street to South 22nd Street (with one lane kept open and a detour), 23rd Avenue from 27th Street to 31st Street, and 12th Avenue from 12th Street to 13th Street.

Between July 5 and 19, Pelling will work on Ridge Drive from Southview Drive to Longview Drive, Ridge Court from Southview Drive north, 7th Street from 7th Avenue to Central Avenue, and First Avenue from South 11th Street to South 15th Street.

 At the June 8 council meeting, the council approved adding three days to the schedule and two streets: 3rd Street from 3rd Avenue to 5th Avenue and 12th Avenue from 12th Street to 13th Street. Damages are the same as those for the Rathje project.

Two other projects were approved at the council meeting. One was the 2017 Lucore Road Reconstruction project and the other is the 2017 31st Street Rehabilitation project. Sealed bids for both projects will be received by the city on July 11 and public hearings regarding both will be held on July 20.

The 31st Street project is expected to begin September 11 and last 20 days, with a penalty of $500 per day over that. The Lucore project is expected to start August 14 and last 145 days with the penalty being $750 per day if not completed in that many working days.

In these and other similar cases, these four steps are followed: motion to select the project engineer (oftentimes to retain the City Engineer as the project engineer), approval of resolutions if necessity, orders for preparation of plans, specifications, notices of hearings and the process of letting, a notice to bidders, form of contract and estimate of cost regarding the project.

A hearing also was held and the council voted to approve the sale of public property known as Lot 2, Industrial Center East 11th Addition to the City. This is near 3rd Avenue and 44th Street.

For other council business, please see the legal notifications in this issue of the Marion Times.

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