North Liberty, Coralville seek public input on Forevergreen Road extension

Consultants to discuss environmental, constructability and property issues

Officials with the cities of Coralville and North Liberty are inviting residents to offer their input on future plans to extend Forevergreen Road during a public open house Wednesday night.

The second public open house on the project is being hosted in light of plans both cities have had to extend the road since 2006. Though city officials decided not to move forward with the project at that time — due to unsettled growth boundaries and a lack of public input — North Liberty City Engineer Kevin Trom said those issues have now been resolved through a future growth agreement and both cities want to finalize a road plan before development in those growth areas begins.

"Now that that's been finalized, we want to make sure we know where the future extension should go… for planning purposes," Trom said. "We want to make sure we have a road plan before any development starts out there."

Trom said the road will be built as that area develops, and the developers or property owners will pick up the cost of the road, adding that neither city has budgeted money for this as a new street project.

The project will extend Forevergreen Road from the roundabout at 12th Ave. in North Liberty to North Dubuque Street in Johnson County.

Dan Holderness, Coralville City Engineer, said the extension will also help improve health and transportation system issues to reduce pollution and driving times as both cities continue to grow.

This time around, the cities have had at least nine meetings with individual property owners along the route, and have held one previous public open houses  — with comment cards — on the project to ensure the community feels involved in the process. Though the three road alignment options are very similar, Trom said the road will be build further north than originally proposed in 2006.

"The goal this Wednesday is to have the three alternatives there and have people come that are interested and look and  give us comments, concerns and input and so we can keep moving forward here to try and come up with an alignment that addresses as many concerns and issues as we can," Holderness said, adding roughly 100 people attended the first public open house in October of last year.

The open house will be held in North Liberty on Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Van Allen Elementary School, 170 Abigail Ave. Representatives from both cities and engineering consultant Shive-Hattery will be available to discuss details of the projects with visitors.  

Following Wednesday's open house, Holderness said the consultants on the project will be charged with coming up with a final alignment, taking all issues — environmental, constructability and property issues — into consideration.

Both city councils will then have to approve a final alignment, which could go to them as early as May.

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