Government

Hubbard Ice demolition expected this summer

Safety changes coming for Mount Vernon Road

The Cedar Rapids City Council chamber at City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
The Cedar Rapids City Council chamber at City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — City staffers are investigating whether the front-most building of the Hubbard Ice complex — with the “Hubbard” lettering — in northwest Cedar Rapids can be saved.

The city is moving forward with demolishing the rest of the complex because it falls in the path of the future flood control system.

“The city is looking at the possibility of options if that could be an open air structure, that would be floodable in the event of a flood,” said Rob Davis, the Cedar Rapids flood control manager.

Davis said the city does not believe the building qualifies as historic but said it has “historic sentimental value.”

At its Tuesday meeting, Cedar Rapids City Council supported an estimated $430,000 plan to demolish the complex at 1124 First St. NW. The city acquired the complex in 2016 for $2.5 million using state aid earmarked for flood protection.

Demolition could move forward at the end of July or early August and take 60 to 90 days to complete, said John Riggs, of the building services department. Demolition would be conducted by dump trucks and excavators.

Seven vendors attended a prebid meeting, and a contract is expected to be awarded at the July 10 council meeting, Riggs said.

In response to a question about historic preservation by council member Ann Poe, Riggs said staff have been working with Mark Stoffer Hunter, a historian for the Cedar Rapids History Center, and he would have at least a month to take photos and document.

The facility once housed the company that harvested ice from the river and supplied railroads ice for use in their refrigerated cars. The original buildings are long since demolished.

The existing complex was built in 1950 with additions in later years. It includes 200,000 square feet of building space including several warehouses.

Around the time the city acquired it, the complex was fully occupied with 12 businesses, including Hunt Brothers Pizza, said Scott Olson, a Cedar Rapids council member and commercial broker who once owned a stake in the building.

MOUNT VERNON ROAD

In other news, the city has been awarded a transportation safety improvement grant through the Iowa Department of Transportation to curb collisions on Mount Vernon Road from 38th Street SE to East Post Road SE.

The project, slated for 2019, would reconfigure the existing four-lane road, make traffic signal modifications, replace water mains and upgrade sidewalk ramps to meet American’s With Disabilities Act requirements. The existing two lanes in each direction would be converted to two lanes eastbound, and one lane westbound with a center left-turn lane.

The roadway had 55 reported collisions from 2012 to 2017; one-third resulted in injuries, Doug Wilson, Paving for Progress program manager, said in an email. The changes are expected to reduce collisions by 20 percent, he said.

“Collisions within this four-lane portion of Mount Vernon Road are broadsides and rear-ends,” he said. “These are typical for a four‐lane, undivided roadway, especially one with high traffic volumes.”

The project is expected to cost $1.5 million, with $500,000 coming from the state grant.

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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