Neighbors concerned for safety during major road construction - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Neighbors concerned for safety during major road construction

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Equipment works on Farley Road Tuesday Equipment works on Farley Road Tuesday
DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -

One long-awaited road project is turning into a nightmare for some area neighbors.

People living along County Road Y13/Farley Road say the road has been in dire need of repairs for years, but the construction happening this summer in order to fix it is extreme.

Practically all of the nearly-10-mile stretch of the road between Farley and Cascade is torn up. Some portions are so loose and soft that smaller vehicles might risk getting stuck.

Some neighbors say they're concerned an ambulance or fire truck would, at best, be delayed when responding to a 911 call. At worst, neighbors say, a blocked portion of the road might prevent the emergency vehicles from reaching their destination.

Dubuque County engineer Bret Wilkinson said he has "gone to great extents on this project" to work closely with the fire chiefs of the two impacted fire districts as well as Dubuque County emergency dispatchers, alerting them via e-mail when specific parts of the road are closed.

He said the construction began in April and was originally set to be completed sometime in September or October, though delays due to bad weather have pushed that back to as late as November. He said his department plans on laying new concrete over the road next year.

Tom Beringer farms land along Farley Road and said Tuesday afternoon the conditions aren't good for his gear.

"Local people have to use (Farley Road) yet. It has to be usable," Beringer said. "We have to get crop out. We don't want wagons upset and axles broke and all the other things that can happen."

Wilkinson said so much off the road is torn up at once because several crews are working to widen the road, put in cross-road culverts and more.

"There's probably more moving around (of crews) than we anticipated," Wilkinson said, adding it's what they need to do to get the work done.

"We'd like to see it done now, but these things take time," Beringer said.

The project is set to cost more than $3.3 million taxpayer dollars. Wilkinson said the original winning bid by Skyline Construction of Decorah was $3,333,575.23, though he added that number could end up being higher due to change orders resulting from unforeseen issues.

Wilkinson said he appreciates neighbors' patience on this, adding, "it's a very long project."

Neighbors and Wilkinson planned on meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Hall in Farley to discuss concerns about safety and road conditions.

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