Houses along Highway 63 need to be moved or torn down - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Houses along Highway 63 need to be moved or torn down

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Highway 63 in Waterloo is about to get a major makeover, but several obstacles still stand in the way. The area that will be worked on is between Parker and Donald Streets.

Over the years this northern corridor for Waterloo has been falling apart. The road is rough and the constant truck traffic causes frequent breaks in water mains underneath the road.

To make the street wider homes along Highway 63 were bought out. Half a dozen of these homes have sat empty on blocks for more than a year waiting to be moved.

Chris Western, a Planner II, for the City of Waterloo says the city was trying to save the houses instead of having them demolished.

"So we stepped in and purchased houses for one dollar each and then we intern sold those houses for one dollars to the developer and we also sold seven lots to the developer as well for one dollar all in an attempt to make sure these house were saved," said Western.

Charles Jones of Green Development LLC in Iowa City bought the homes and had a contract with Jeremy Patterson House Moving to have the homes moved. Jones says he is ready to go, but the moving company is not holding up its part of the bargain.

Now the Iowa DOT must move forward and the houses may just have to be torn down.

"We just got to the point when the DOT really needs them gone and they've come up with a deadline of September 1st," said Western.

Those homes already have a new place to call home, a number of foundations already have been poured, two of them on Cottage Street on the east side of Waterloo.

"I did have a conversation with the developer recently and it does sound like they are making progress and there have been some dates set to have houses moved," said Western.

Western did not have the specific dates.

We contacted Jeremy Patterson House Moving, which is based in Washington, Iowa, for a comment but our call was not returned.

Construction on the Highway 63 project is expected to begin next spring.

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