Construction on the second phase of the Ped Mall Improvements Project began on Monday. This phase focuses on the east-west corridor running from Clinton Street to Linn Street.
The work is beginning with the trimming and removal of trees. Before construction began on the first phase of the project in 2018, an arborist assessed the health of the 88 trees on the Ped Mall. That survey found 26 of the trees were in poor condition, and those trees will be removed. The project, however, calls for the planting of 27 new trees, so the final result is the Ped Mall will gain one tree.
Construction work on the project will be permitted from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, with the exception of certain dates. There will be no construction during the Downtown Block Party (June 22), the annual Sidewalk Sales (July 18-21) or Taste of Iowa City (August 21). Also, like much of the rest of Iowa City, construction will come to a halt when there’s a University of Iowa home football game. On those Hawkeye-centric weekends, work will stop at 5 p.m. on Friday and not resume until 7 a.m. on Monday.
The $6.5 million project is the latest step in the Downtown and Pedestrian Mall Streetscape Plan, which was approved by the city council in 2014. According to the project’s published schedule, construction on the Ped Mall is slated to finish in November 2019.