Beginning mid-May, business owners and residents located in some uptown Creston areas will have reduced access to their alleys.
Alliant Energy will begin a project to remove the overhead power lines and steel structures in the alleys bordered by Sycamore Street on the west and Maple Street on the east, and between Adams and Montgomery streets.
The electrical project will be carried out in two one-week and two two-week segments, during which public access to each segment will be restricted. For those affected, direct inquiries to Alliant Energy Field Engineer Steven Marean, who was present at two public informational meetings held Thursday afternoon and evening at the mealsite.
“So basically, over the years, people have asked us about getting [rid of] these steel structures in the alleys,” Marean said, “and we haven’t been able to do that before, but they’re getting some age on them and there’s some safety concerns, so now we’re going to go in there and tear these alleys up.”
Marean added the type of steel structures that are being removed in the alley generally have a lifetime of about 35 years, and that the ones in Creston have probably been there for longer than that.
He said it just so happened that around the same time Alliant was interested in doing this project, the city also wanted to do some sewer work.
“So when this project became something we wanted to do, we got with the city, cable TV and telephone and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to be in there, could be tearing these alleys up to get conduits in — do you have work that you need to do so we can just tear the alley up once? — and everybody does their thing.’”
Marean anticipates a mid-May start date, and a six week construction time assuming no unforeseen obstacles.
“And anything we open up, we’ll get at least gravel back in there that day so you’ll have a surface, and there won’t be a trench to fall into. When we get done with an area, you’ll at least have access to the alley then.”
In conjunction with the work being done by Alliant Energy, the city of Creston will be replacing or repairing the sanitary sewer main in the same areas.
Garbage pickup, deliveries and parking in those alleys will not be allowed during the time frame of excavation, lining of the sewers or during excavation for the electrical work, which Marean expects to take between one and two weeks for each segment.
Garbage dumpsters will be provided by the city of Creston at the ends of those alleys while this work is going on.
Deliveries to businesses during the alley closures will need to take place through the front door of the business.
“Just have patience,” Marean said. “Like any construction project, it’s a little bit painful when it’s going, but when it’s done you’ll say, ‘Oh, this is great. We should have done this a while back.’ So just patience and knowing that when the work is done, it’ll be done right and things will go back to normal — a little better than normal.”
Marean may be reached by calling 641-782-1806. He said if anybody has questions about services or cutover to contact him. He also added construction crews will have a crew member on site at all times to communicate with customers.
“Our goal is to let people know when we go to each block, so they know we’re coming,” Marean said. ... “We’ll try to communicate as much as we can for when these alleys will be closed.”