The Johnston community will soon be seeing major improvements to one of their main roads, thanks to a resolution passed by the city council to buy property for reconstruction of NW 70th Avenue.
The project, approved at the Oct. 15 council meeting, will allow for the widening of the existing two-lane rural road into a four-lane urban section with a raised median and gutter, according to notes from the meeting. A new water main, storm sewer, sidewalks and shared-use path will also be installed.
As the last of three phases in the reconstruction of NW 70th Avenue, the project will cater for increasing traffic and provide a recreational trail for surrounding neighborhoods, said Johnston's Mayor, Paula Dierenfeld.
"This project is the third of three phases completing the reconstruction of NW 70th Avenue from NW 86th Street, west of Johnston’s city limits," Dierenfeld told the Johnston Times. "The improvements are being made to improve safety and to accommodate the increased traffic volume in the area."
Dierenfeld said the road is currently not large enough to handle growing traffic needs.
"The road not only serves growth in the area, but it is an important commuter route for many businesses in Johnston," Dierenfeld said. "A recreation trail is also being constructed along the road which expands the Johnston trail system and connects many neighborhoods that have not had trail access in the past."
While all of these changes are certainly going to help the community, Johnston may have even more improvements in the future, Dierenfeld said.
"There are portions of the road, west of NW 86th Street and west of NW 100th Street, that have vacant properties and may develop in the future," Dierenfeld said.
The project is slated to begin in the spring, and, according to the City of Johnston, the total estimated cost for phases two and three is $7.36 million. Phase II of the project was finished and opened to traffic on Sep. 20.
The contractor and completion date are yet to be determined, but will be announced on the city's website.