Gateway project faces potential changes


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After some proposed small changes to design elements in the Gateway Project, the east side of Dubuque Street will likely get a sidewalk of its own.

At today’s meeting, the council will discuss a resolution to add a sidewalk that was previously scratched from the nearly six-year-old project.

The City Council voted earlier in April to remove plans for the sidewalk on the east side because of concerns about infringing on residential property.

The current resolution would keep all other elements and only add the sidewalk.

The Gateway Project is a city project estimated to cost around $52 million. The project should reduce the number of times Dubuque Street and Park Road Bridge are closed by flooding, as well as enhance the natural entry of Dubuque Street, according to the Gateway website.

Councilor Rick Dobyns had originally been in favor of removing the sidewalk, but after going back and forth about his decision, said approved of keeping the sidewalk.

“We have gradually moved the footprint farther toward the west,” he said, ”As we did that, it allowed room for a sidewalk.”

The adjustment would move Dubuque Street a few feet toward the river, which would allow the project to build a sidewalk without infringing on the neighboring property, Dobyns said.

The potential future development on Foster Road would increase pedestrian traffic in the area, henoted, creating a need for the sidewalk.

Joe Coulter, a resident who lives along the area where the sidewalk would potentially be built, said he was initially against the change because of concerns about a barrier being built against his property alongside the sidewalk.

Now with the proposed resolution, he said the changes look like a positive for his property, which occupies a place on Ridge Road near Foster Road, a large chunk of the suggested sidewalk area.

Councilor Susan Mims said the resolution should have the council’s support, citing the backing it got from city staff and community members at the last meeting.

Mims said even though the council was previously against the sidewalk, the changes have been large enough to reconsider.

“The reason we did that was concern for alignment of the road, but now the road is farther to the west,” Mims said. “There is enough room for a sidewalk without encroaching on neighboring property.”

Mims said infringing on the property was a reason the councilors had originally removed it in April.
The council will vote on the resolution tonight, and Dobyns said he is not concerned about the outcome.

“Unless any sort of new information comes to light, I don’t see it not passing,” he said.

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