Gerald Smith

Gerald Smith

Plans for the reconstruction of Platt Street/Highway 64 continue, but the bidding on the project has been delayed more than two years.

Initial plans called for bidding by February 2020, but “that’s not going to happen,” said Maquoketa City Manager Gerald Smith.

He said he expected the bidding process to begin as late as the fall of 2022.

The project is a massive one that involves a lot of planning, Smith explained. The city must coordinate efforts with the state and federal governments to ensure the project meets all rules and regulations.

Smith said the paperwork, contracts and money handling also factor into the delay.

A couple weeks ago, the Maquoketa City Council signed a $62,000 contract with East Central Intergovernmental Association to handle grant reporting, federal wages, and project management for the Platt Street project.

Late last fall, Maquoketa learned it would receive a $3.8 million federal grant to make numerous costly improvements on, under, and along Platt Street. The BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) transportation grant will help to reconstruct the 1.7-mile stretch of Highway 64 from Highway 61 west to the intersection with Highway 62.

Preliminary project plans feature:

New and resurfaced street pavement

New curbs, gutters and sidewalks to comply with handicapped-accessibility guidelines

New storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water mains

New natural gas lines

Installation of a new broadband fiber-optic network

Traffic signal upgrades

New lights, and more

The entire project is expected to cost more than $9.5 million. The Iowa Department of Transportation will pay about $3 million, leaving the city’s share at an estimated $2.7 million.

Once the work begins, it will take about two years to complete, officials estimated.

Maquoketa’s Iowa Highway 64 transformation is one of 91 projects in 49 states to receive a BUILD grant this year. The U.S. Department of Transportation received 851 grant applications nationwide valued at $10.9 billion and awarded $1.5 billion.

Maquoketa was one of only three projects funded in Iowa.