Famechon Hill project on County N underway, road is closed to traffic

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Work has begun on the County N project near its intersection with Highway 35. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Landscaping is being done along County N near the Spring Lake Restaurant and Motel.

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Bids for the Famechon Hill road construction project were let in February and construction has now begun on the project estimated at $3,868,000. The prime contractor is Peter James of H. James and Sons of Fennimore.

Crawford County will be getting a federal grant for $2.98 million for the Famechon Hill project, which will involve reconstruction of the intersection of Highway 35 and County N and also 1.46 miles of County N going up the hill from Highway 35. The plan will consist of reconstruction of multiple substandard geometric features including horizontal curves, vertical curves and steep grades that will be improved. County N will be closed to through-traffic during the construction which is expected to be completed in November.

Design on the project began in the fall of 2012 and the county entered into a design contract in early 2013. Public hearings were held in 2014 and 2015 with great attendance. The grant application through the Eastern Federal Lands Access Program was submitted in November of 2016.

The highway department has proposed to do the project in two phases. Phase 1 includes the new intersection of County N and Highway 35 as well as a new box culvert, retaining wall, new entrance to the Spring Lake Restaurant and Motel, and new roadway construction and permanent erosion control to stabilize phase 1 and prepare for phase 2. Phase 1 also includes the design engineering, grading, base, pavement, right-of-way acquisition and about 50 percent of the construction engineering. Phase 2 will complete the project and will include grading, base, pavement, permanent erosion control, signing, pavement markings and construction engineering.

Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock explained that the Federal Lands Access Program provides funding for projects involving roadways that provide access to federal lands. County N and Highway 35 provide access to Ambrough Slough, Lock and Dam 9 and Effigy Mounds National Monument. The Famechon Hill project is the first time Crawford County has been involved in the Federal Lands Access Program.

Another project for this spring is a rehabilitation of the bridge across the Kickapoo River on County S. Pelock said the bridge was built in the 1950s and will be receiving a new deck. The cost of this project is $756,000 and is a 70-30 split with 70 percent of the cost paid for by federal and state funds and 30 percent by the county.

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