ASBURY, IOWA — After considering multiple road improvement options, Asbury City Council members are leaning toward a short-term, less-expensive solution to improve two busy intersections.
Council members this week approved the most recent road improvement report that provides the city with three long-term road plans and a less-costly short-term option.
After reviewing costs, Mayor Jim Adams said the council is moving away from the long-term solutions, which could cost the city millions of dollars.
“The cost of the long-term solution is cost-prohibitive,” he said. “We may need to look at more of the short term and see if that’s possible.”
Long-term plans involved realigning either Radford Road or Hales Mill Road and combining them into one intersection at Asbury Road.
Alternatively, they could realign both roads and create a new Asbury Road intersection with a multi-lane roundabout or a traffic light.
They also discussed adding another eastbound lane on Asbury Road and installing traffic signals at Radford and Hales Mill roads.
The costs for each long-range project varied from about $2 million to $3.5 million.
Council members leaned toward a short-term solution of adding a traffic signal to Hales Mill Road, which would cost the city $300,000 to $500,000.
But Ben Wilkinson, senior project manager with consulting group MSA, warned this alternative will only work for so long.
“If the traffic doesn’t grow as much as we think it will, then some of these things will work themselves out,” he said. “If you don’t do anything, then what you have right now is just going to get worse. And we know that’s probably not acceptable.”
Over the next 10 years, traffic is expected to annually increase by 1% to 1.5% on Asbury Road, 3% on Hales Mill Road and 0.5% on Radford Road.
Council members plan to set a work session early next month.
City officials this week also voted, 4-1, to proceed with the Summer Drive reconstruction project.
The project will cost about $850,000. About 15% of the total project cost will fall to property owners along Summer Drive, each of whom will be assessed $3,000 to $12,000.
Adams said the project costs vary depending on the size of each owner’s driveway.
The renovation will include street light installation, gutter improvements, driveway reconstruction and more.
About 68% of people who live along the street signed a petition against the project. However, that fell short of the 75% threshold needed to force council members to unanimously support the project.
Council Member Russ Domeyer voted against the project, saying he wanted to research ways to potentially lower costs to property owners.
“I think we can do it for quite a bit less, which would affect the assessments,” said Domeyer.