ROAD CLOSURE: Beginning Tuesday, September 28, 2021, Orchard Street will be closed between Benton Street and Douglass Street. Orchard Street will remain open between Douglass Street and Highway 1 to maintain access to Douglass Street, Douglass Court, and businesses in the area.

Orchard Street’s condition has deteriorated beyond the point of rehabilitation, and full reconstruction is necessary between Benton Street and Highway 1. The City previously issued a Request for Qualifications to provide professional engineering services for City public improvement projects, including the Orchard Street Reconstruction project, and Shive-Hattery, Inc. was selected based on qualifications.

The Orchard Street Reconstruction Project includes the following:

  • Pavement reconstruction between Benton Street and Highway 1
  • Sidewalk infill along the east side of Orchard Street
  • Water main replacement from Douglass Street to Highway 1
  • Sanitary sewer replacement from Benton Street to Douglass Street
  • Curb ramp replacement to meet ADA standards

Tentative schedule

  • Construction Start Date: September 28, 2021
  • Construction End Date: June 2022

Throughout the project, different sections of Orchard Street will be closed to accommodate reconstruction. Access to Douglass Street, Douglass Court, and businesses in the area will be maintained at all times. The City anticipates half of the project construction to be completed in fall 2021. Any remaining work will be completed in the spring and early summer of 2022. Orchard Street will be open in drivable conditions between Benton Street and Highway 1 over the winter.


What are the benefits?

A new concrete roadway will provide a safe travel surface for vehicles and bicycle traffic.  Accessibility for pedestrians will be improved with a new sidewalk along the east side of Orchard Street. Installation of new water main south of Orchard Street with new service connections, and new sanitary sewer and sanitary services will provide more reliable water and sewer service with lower maintenance.  

How long will my home or business be impacted? 

The project is in the beginning stages of planning. Construction is expected to begin Summer of 2021 and end Fall of 2021. There is a possibility that site restoration work will carry over into Spring 2022. Project phasing will be finalized as we get further along in the design.

How will I be able to access my home or business during construction? 

Homes and businesses with direct access to Orchard Street will be impacted, however, designers will work to reduce impacts to properties by phasing work and installation of temporary gravel access drives. Short durations of driveway closures will be necessary for some sidewalk, utility installations, and reconstruction of the driveway approaches. Meetings will be scheduled with individual residential and businesses directly accessing Orchard Street to discuss access impacts.

What will the impacts be to me or my property? 

A few trees in the city right-of-way will need to be removed. 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. Temporary construction easements will be necessary to complete work outside of the right of way. During construction, there will also be regular construction noise and dust during the work which will be limited to the hours of 7 am to 10 pm; the exception is for saw cutting of concrete, the timing of which is critical and may be required at off-hours.

Who will the contractor be? 

After the project design is complete, the City will advertise for Contractors to review plans and submit bids for construction. After bids are received, they are reviewed and Public Works staff will recommend award to Council based on bid results.  This process will take place in Spring 2021.

What might cause delays? 

Excavating for a new roadway and utility installations may turn up a few surprises, such as abandoned and unknown utility lines.  Also, unknown underground repairs to old infrastructure may need to be addressed if repairs are identified during construction work.  Discoveries such as these take time to address. As with any construction project, the weather is a big factor that can cause delays at all phases of construction

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Project Contact

Marri VanDyke, Civil Engineer
City of Iowa City – Engineering Division