The oldest part of River Forest Road in Evansdale will undergo a major face-lift this summer. The city council finalized the nearly $1.9 million project Tuesday night (May 3, 2016).

According to design plans, River Forest Road will be reduced from a four-lane, divided street to a two-lane thoroughfare between Central Ave. and Lafayette Road. Both intersections will have left turn lanes.

The nearly eight-block section being rebuilt will be closed to all but local traffic throughout the duration of the two-phase project. Phase one will consist of reconstructing River Forest's intersections with Central and Lafayette. When phase one is complete, phase two will focus on rebuilding River Forest between the two intersections.

River Forest Road / Source: Google Maps

According to Mayor Doug Faas, residents on the west side of River Forest Road will have direct access to their property during construction. He said they'll be able to use a temporary gravel road -- to be built along the Cedar River flood dike -- that will be removed when the project is complete. Residents on the east side of River Forest will likely have to deal the construction as best they can.

Faas is hopeful construction can begin by late May. The entire project is designed to be finished in 90 working days, depending on the weather. Under terms of the deal approved by the city council, the contractor will be charged a $1,500-per-day penalty if the construction goes beyond 90 working days.

Peterson Construction, Inc., of Reinbeck was awarded the contract on April 19. The company submitted the lowest of three bids the city received for the project. Peterson's bid was well-below the engineer's $2.29 million cost estimate.

Faas said a federal grant is funding 80-percent of the River Forest Road reconstruction project. Evansdale is paying the remaining 20-percent share, or $369,730.