Group Airing Ads Against Raising Iowa City's Dubuque Street

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

Traffic flows along North Dubuque St. near the intersection with Park Rd. on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/SourceMedia Group News)

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - A group is airing ads opposing a proposed project to raise Dubuque Street and the Park Road bridge in Iowa City. The two-year project, known as the Gateway Project, could begin in 2015.

A group called “saveiowacity.com” recently started airing television ads calling for a halt to the project.

“Tell the city council no on the Gateway project,” the ad says. “Tell them to spend your money more wisely.”

The ad mentions the recent controversial decision by the school board to close Hoover Elementary school, although the city budget and school budgets are separate. The school also isn’t closing due to budget issues.

The project is expected to cost an estimated $40 million.

City staff wants to raise the road in the area to project against future flooding. The area saw major flooding in 1993, 2008 and last summer. Opponents argue raising the road could damage the environment and wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing.

There isn’t contact information listed for the group on their website. The website domain is registered to a home in Bella Vista Place, just east of Dubuque Street. No one at the house was available for comment Friday afternoon.

The city council is expected to make a decision on the project within the next few weeks. The issue will be a central focus during a work session on September 17.

“The do nothing option isn’t a good option,” Ron Knoche, Iowa City engineer, said.

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