Fort Madison resorting to Plan B to fix the sidewalks downtown - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Fort Madison resorting to Plan B to fix the sidewalks downtown

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Holes in the sidewalk on Avenue G Holes in the sidewalk on Avenue G
People walking through the Downtown District. People walking through the Downtown District.
City allowed to work on it to improve the sidewalks because of work being done at water treatment plant. City allowed to work on it to improve the sidewalks because of work being done at water treatment plant.
Curbs deteriorating on Avenue G Curbs deteriorating on Avenue G
Renewed proposal sent to Iowa DNR to get approved. Renewed proposal sent to Iowa DNR to get approved.
FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -

Residents and business owners in Fort Madison want to see sidewalk improvements downtown.

But, the city said  work is going to be pushed back because of funding.  

The project would work on sidewalks and curbs between 6th and 10th street on Avenue G.

Right now, there are too many that are uneven and cracked because of storm damage. Business owners said new sidewalks would bring more foot traffic to the downtown area. 

Crumbling sidewalks on Avenue G have caused problems for people shopping downtown. 

"The curbs are in bad shape," Ron Barnes, owner of Under the Sun said. "We have had some people that have ruined their tires on it and it would make it attractable for all customers to come down."  

Small business owners said appearance goes a long way in getting people downtown. 

"I call it eye candy," Brenda Derr, owner of Dollhouse Dreams said. "If it looks good, the people will come. We want a pleasant atmosphere and we want people to come downtown." 

The city is trying to spend $1.5 million on fixing the sidewalks.

City manager David Varley said because it is spending 15 million to improve the water treatment plant, they can apply for a grant to use towards another water related project.

The city's first plan was rejected because the south sidewalks were okay according to the state.

The city moved to plan B. 

"We added some inlets to increase the amount of runoff to be treated on the southside," City Manager David Varley said. "We submitted that and we are waiting to hear from them." 

The city said the sidewalks would turn into brick permeable pavers, to provide better runoff and help with the streets.

"This will make it look nice and make it look attractive for pedestrians down there," Varley said. 

Business owners said the downtown area has come a long way in the past year but this improvement can be an incentive for others to join them and build up the district. 

"I heard there are four coming in this summer," Derr said. "It continues to grow and the more we do to enhance the environment, the more we will grow." 

The city hopes to hear from the state in the next few days and get the project going by this summer.

This project would be part of the EPA mandated sewer separation that needs to be complete by 2023. 

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