116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — The long-awaited Seventh Avenue streetscape project in Uptown Marion is entering its final phase, which will close part of the busy street for the next two months.
The project moved into the final phase Tuesday. Work is being done over two blocks between Eighth and 10th streets.
The completion date for the entire project is set for this fall.
“It’s exciting to be entering the final phase of this project,” said Brooke Prouty, director of the Uptown Marion District and business liaison for the project. “We appreciate all who have continued to show up and support our business community. There will be a lot to celebrate this fall.”
Parts of the major route through the heart of Marion have been closed over the last two construction seasons due to the major redevelopment effort.
The $6.9 million project is being funded by local-option sales tax dollars and bonding through the city’s capital improvement program.
Work includes the reconstruction of the street and sidewalks and the replacement of underground utilities, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and water mains on Seventh Avenue and side streets between Eighth and 12th streets and Sixth and Eighth avenues.
It also includes a new Uptown Plaza on 11th Street that will stretch from the city’s Uptown Artway south across Seventh Avenue.
String lights also were installed in the plaza location. The new design of Seventh Avenue as a “festival street” allows it to be closed for events. This year’s farmers markets have taken full advantage of the new features.
After completion of the streetscape project, focus will turn to Uptown Marion’s City Square Park and the Central Plaza project that will reimagine it.
Marion recently received $3 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds allocated by the state to help fund the project. The award represents 40 percent of the total project investment of $9 million.
The park's redesign may include an area that can be transformed into an ice-skating rink in winter, an artistic “Peace Tree” to be the city’s holiday centerpiece, flexible outdoor seating, water features, a play structure, event stage and space for festival and market tents.
The city is currently taking a survey, seeking feedback on the park design, available on the city’s website.
The park’s historic train depot also may see some upgrades, including turning it into a potential warming house during the winter, adding restrooms and installing mechanical rooms for the various water features.
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