Question: What is the status of Dubuque’s green alleys project? It seemed like new green alleys used to be popping up everywhere, but that progress appears to have stopped.
Answer: Dubuque’s green alleys feature permeable pavers that allow water to pass through them into the soil below, reducing stormwater runoff, according to the city website.
The reconstruction of about 240 green alleys is one component of the City of Dubuque’s Bee Branch Watershed flood-mitigation project.
City officials designed and built 73 green alleys from 2014 to 2017. State Environmental Protection Commission officials allowed the city to use $9.4 million that would have been paid in interest for the Water and Resource Recovery Center upgrade project for those green alleys, according to Kristin Hill, communications specialist for the Bee Branch project.
The rest of the green alleys are scheduled for reconstruction from 2029 to 2040, Hill wrote in an email.
However, the city will be able to access another $1 million for green alleys in the Catfish Creek Watershed through Iowa’s State Revolving Fund program, Hill wrote.
Those funds are expected to be available in 2020.
Question: What is the plan to reconstruct Pennsylvania Avenue from Radford Road to Seippel Road? This is an important road for traffic, and it needs to be improved.
Answer: While the city has done some preliminary design work to reconstruct that portion of Pennsylvania — formerly part of Middle Road — it is not currently in the city’s five-year capital improvement budget, according to Assistant City Engineer Bob Schiesl.
City officials have examined working on the road to lower some of the hills and fill in some of the valleys so it is more level, City Engineer Gus Psihoyos said. The city also would likely add curbs and gutters, sidewalks and other infrastructure, such as fiber and lighting.
That level of work likely would cost $25 million to $30 million, Schiesl wrote in an email.
“The city does not have sufficient funds available in the 5-year capital improvement budget to support such a project,” he wrote.
City staff review road conditions each year when developing recommendations for the budget. They will keep Pennsylvania Avenue in mind when prioritizing future projects, Schiesl wrote.
The city already started to acquire property for the project, Psihoyos said. Officials have purchased one so far and is in the process of buying two more.