Marquette Council approves bench evacuation route bid

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Marquette’s bench evacuation route moved another step closer to fruition last week, as the city council awarded a contract to Bacon Concrete, of Postville, to complete the project at a cost of $218,815.

Engineer Mark Doyle, from Delta 3 Engineering, said there were eight bids for the project, ranging from Bacon’s low bid up to $510,000. The engineer’s estimated cost was $375,600.

Bacon Concrete is no stranger to the city of Marquette, having completed the Edgar Street project last year.

The council approved the final plans and specifications for the bench evacuation route project at its Sept. 12 meeting. The route will be 3,800 feet long, stretching from Walnut Street, on the Marquette bench, to Eagle Drive, in McGregor. The total width of the route will be 22 feet, 14 feet of which will be graveled. The council selected that option over the summer, noting it was the most cost effective, while also allowing for future development.

Land consideration

Councilman John Ries urged the council to consider purchasing the vacant lot on the north side of the Frontier Motel. The Iowa Department of Transportation will put the property up for auction soon, he said, and had offered it to the city nearly a year ago. The property’s appraised value is $20,000.

Ries said the area contains city utilities and could serve as 15 to 20 parking spaces.

“For what we’ve invested in the downtown and parking, I think it could be valuable,” he said. “We’d be foolish not to pursue it.”

Mayor Larry Breuer said he would check with the DOT and follow up with the council.

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