East of Merle Hay Road Improvements

Conceptual Plan

Click here (PDF) to read the East of Merle Hay Road conceptual plan. Click here (PDF) to view the map of the project. 

Phase 4-NW 54th Court, NW 60th Street, NW 61st Place

Project Update (as of 6/7/19)
As you are aware, there has been considerable rainfall through much of May. The contractor has been unable to work between rain events as the site has been too wet. Even with clear, dry days, the site was too saturated. Working on those conditions would have created larger issues with more mud on the roads, drives and sidewalks and compaction or rutting (damage) to the exposed soil.

The City of Johnston and Foth meet weekly with J&K to discuss the project schedule and look at what progress can be made when the weather allows them to work. This week we learned that the contractor had been unable to access their stockpile of dirt in Ankeny due to the wet conditions of the soil itself and where it was stored. With the recent drying trend, the contractor was able to get to the stockpile and start hauling in the remaining soil it will take to complete the job. J&K will have staff on-site spreading and grading topsoil as they haul it in. Following that work, the contractor will bring in and incorporate compost amendments for the new soil. The contractor has stated he intends to seed after the previously described work is completed. Weather permitting, it should be complete within the next couple of weeks.

Prior to this work, the contractor removed the unsuitable material per the State specifications and contract documents. The new soil has been tested and meets the previously mentioned requirements. This project is unique from the previous projects as all new topsoil was brought in and compost is going to be added. Previously, new topsoil was mixed with what remained and no compost was added. This should allow the seed to take root quicker and thicker and get yards established. Areas that do not establish will be re-worked and seeded.

It has been a challenging season(s) and the project team is anxious to wrap it up as well.

Project Information and Communication Items
Click here (PDF) to review the Public Open House presentation presented on February 28, 2019

Engineer: Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, Amy Quartell

City Staff Contact:
Matt Greiner
Public Works Director
Matt's Email

The first public information meeting for this project was held on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, from 5:30-7:00 PM in the Johnston City Hall Council Chambers. The intent of this meeting was to start a dialogue with the surrounding property owners on issues from your perspective that may exist in the corridor.  The design team and representatives from the City were to be present to listen and gather your input so that it may be incorporated into the design process. 

Phase 3 - NW 54th Court (from NW 57th Ave to NW 60th Ave)


Engineer: Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, Doug Ernst

City Staff Contact:
Matt Greiner
Public Works Director
Matt's Email

Project Update (as of 5/10/19)
The contractor has completed removing the unsuitable dirt out of the project area and basins are complete with the exception of planting.  Weather permitting, tilling of the remaining dirt will begin prior to the addition of the new compost-amended topsoil will begin next week.  Sidewalks and other concrete work will also begin.

Project Update (as of 1/14/19)
Winter weather has halted construction. Contractor will resume work as weather permits.  Work to be completed includes storm sewer basins, sidewalks, and surface restoration.

Project Information and Communication Items 
Click here (PDF) to view the letter sent March 2, 2018, to residents regarding tree removal.
Click here (PDF) to view the meeting presentation from Tuesday, March 22.   
Click here and here (PDF) to view design plans. 
Detailed letter (PDF) regarding this via email and will also receive one via USPS.

Phase 2 - NW 57th Avenue

Engineer: Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, Doug Ernst

City Staff Contact:
Matt Greiner
Public Works Director
Matt's Email

Project Update (1/14/19)
The contractor is completing punch list to finalize project

Project Information and Communication Items 
Click here (PDF) to read the residents letter. 
Click here to see the latest update on the project. The detour map is available to view by clicking here.  NW 57th Avenue will be closed to thru traffic beginning June 19.  The closure is from Merle Hay Road to NW 54th Court.  To view the detour for this closure click here.  

Project Work Already Completed as follows:


Project Name: East of Merle Hay Road Sanitary Trunk Sewer Extension – Phase 1A

Project Location Map

Estimated Cost: $780,000
Special Note: The City of Johnston received a Community Development Block Grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The grant funds were used to help finance the construction of the municipal storm sewer system to serve this area.

Project Name: NW 60th Avenue Improvements (East of Merle Hay Road Phase 4A)

Estimated Cost: $1.48 million

The City of Johnston received a $15,000 grant in December 2015 to help pay for the trail improvements. Click here to learn more about The Wellmark Foundation grant.

Traffic Studies:

Brite Beginnings Daycare & Kevin's Place Shopping Center Traffic Study - May 2007

Grocery Store Traffic Study - May 2007

NW Beaver Drive Commercial Development Traffic Study - May 2007

Project Name: NW 55th Avenue Improvements - Phase 1B
Estimated Cost: $3.1 Million
Project Description: Reconstruction of NW 55th Avenue from Merle Hay Road to NW Beaver Drive. Project included roadway improvements based on the Public Engagement Process, storm sewer construction, sanitary sewer installation, and water main replacement.

An ordinance establishing the East of Merle Hay Road and South of NW 62nd Avenue sanitary sewer extension connection fee district was established. Click here to read the ordinance.
Exhibits A and B show property numbers and project boundaries.

Project Area

East of Merle Hay Road is the area between Merle Hay Road, Beaver Drive, Johnston Drive and NW 62nd Avenue. Here is a link to the Project Area Map. Neighborhood areas include NW 55th Avenue, NW 57th Avenue, NW 54th Court, NW 60th Avenue, & NW 61st Place. A map is available to identify which sub-group to which a neighborhood belongs.
Below are before and after pictures that have been prepared based on input from residents in the area during the above public workshops.

Visual Preference Survey

The visual preference survey was an exercise where the residents were asked to rate a series of images on a scale of -5 to +5 as to their opinion of how well a particular infrastructure improvement would fit in with their neighborhood. The improvements were grouped by category and the results are presented by neighborhood subarea average and the total neighborhood average. The most positive image in each category is highlighted in yellow, while the most negative image is highlighted in red. This purpose of the exercise was to begin the process of visualizing potential physical neighborhood improvements and to discuss the merit of various improvement alternatives. The results are not intended to be interpreted as definitive chosen alternatives.

Input and Contact Information

A comment form is available for your input regarding the project.

City staff working on the project can be reached via email.

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