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Summer of commuter discontent looms near

SHUEYVILLE– Bids for the reconstruction of 120th St. through this northwest Johnson County community came in under estimates earlier this month. The Johnson County Board of Supervisors received and opened bids for the projected $2.2 million construction effort on Tuesday, March 6.
Metro Pavers submitted a bid of $1,852,952.14 for the lowest bid.
Shueyville Mayor Bryan Bredman said his city council reviewed the bids Wednesday night, March 7, and voted to recommend the board of supervisors accept Metro Paving’s bid. The supervisors did so on Friday morning, March 9, with a 5-0 vote.
The tentative timeline is to have a preconstruction meeting on Friday, April 6. Bredman said that once the bid is formally awarded, “we will get a much better handle from the contractor and engineers on a timeline to start.” He added the City of Shueyville and Johnson County are committed to keeping the public informed throughout the project.
“This project is going to have a significant impact on anyone who lives or travels through northern Johnson County, and specifically, Shueyville. It will be a summer to plan ahead, leave early, and be patient as we go through some growing pains,” the Mayor said.
Bredman invited those in the area to continue to support Shueyville’s businesses, emphasizing they will remain accessible throughout the construction work.
Talk about rebuilding the narrow, crumbling road began in 2000 and gathered steam in 2003 and 2004 when additional housing developments led to a new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. The city approached the county in 2006, asking the board to make plans to repair or replace the road. With traffic counts increasing every year, the city again approached the board in 2008 in the hope of expediting the process.
A debate ensued over who was, and ultimately will be, responsible for the road. Technically, it is a County Road. However, as Shueyville’s population continues to grow, the thoroughfare will eventually become the city’s responsibility for ongoing maintenance.
The supervisors approved pursuing a financing agreement with the city in 2010, with the county issuing bonds for the project and the city paying the county back over two decades. The engineering firm of Veenstra and Kimm was hired for preliminary design work, and construction was tentatively slated for the summer of 2011. Due to the complexities of the two-phase project, which will feature a rural section and an urban section (with full curb, gutters, sidewalk and trail), as well as timing and weather concerns; the project kept getting pushed back.
Detour plans for each phase of construction will be publicized along with a timeline once Bredman is sure this is the final plan, and the construction phases are agreed upon.