Living in the Midwest means that we get to enjoy all four seasons and all of their glory. I love the warmth of summer, the colors of fall, comfort food during the winter, and new growth in the spring. However, it also means that as a city, we must complete as many road construction projects as possible while the weather allows.
You probably have noticed some detours and possibly had delays in your daily commute. That’s because the engineering division for the city of Sioux City currently has approximately $55 million worth of projects being constructed, designed, or finished. On average, the city will resurface approximately $2.5 million worth of roadways and reconstruct approximately $8.5 million worth of roads, including new water mains, sanitary sewer, and storm infrastructure. Other projects this year will include a new rail spur in the Southbridge area south of the airport, new sidewalks, bridge repairs, drainage improvements, and repairs, just to name a few.
Thankfully the city has received $40 million in the federal CARES Act funds for utility infrastructure projects. One of these projects is the water main replacement in Pierce Street from 5th Street to 7th Street. This watermain was installed in 1886, making it 136 years old! I would say we certainly got our money’s worth out of that water main, but it is time to replace it. It has had numerous breaks and caused a number of headaches. However, unknown to many, the CARES Act requires all materials for the project to be American made since it is a federal program. Due to this requirement the project has been delayed until the middle of next year due to the current supply chain issues.
Needless to say, there are always potholes to fill and roads to improve. Be patient with our road crews and know that we live in a climate that forces us to complete as many projects as possible in a short time span. That can mean delays and detours. However, it also means improvement and progress. Smoother streets and better days are ahead of Sioux City.
By Alex Watters