Several important and very visible infrastructure projects have continued to advance in Johnston despite the disruptions created by COVID-19. The Hansen Company has been hard at work building the new City Hall at Town Center. The exterior limestone panels, wood, and windows have been installed, and paving for the parking lot is underway. On the interior, plumbing, electric, and mechanical systems have been placed making it possible to begin installing drywall. You can expect this project to be completed later this summer. Upon completion, the existing City Hall will be demolished to make way for the upcoming Johnston Town Center.

The associated reconstruction of the Merle Hay Road and NW 62nd Ave. intersection continues to advance, as does the reconstruction of NW 54th Ave. between NW 86th Street and NW 100th Street.

Broadband Study Initiated –  The City is taking the initial steps to conduct a visioning study and needs assessment for improving the community’s broadband telecommunications infrastructure. This is not just an issue for rural communities, and it would not be an overstatement to say that hundreds of people who would ordinarily be working in a Johnston office building or corporate center have been working remotely from home. High speed Internet is a baseline for both businesses and households.

The City has issued an RFP for consulting services to conduct the needs assessment which is to include a review of current services, a community and business survey and a review of the City’s public sector infrastructure. The consultant will also be asked to help develop a community vision for improving broadband services. Proposals are due July 1, 2020. The City has budgeted up to $25,000.00 for the study.  Click here for more information.

The next significant infrastructure project ahead is the extension of sewer and water services to the NW annexation area, part of the larger Beaver Creek Development Region. The sanitary sewer segment extending services to the Beaver Creek golf course area is planned for the 2021 construction year. However, this plan could be affected by pending litigation concerning the delivery of water services. This issue needs to be resolved soon in order avoid a disruption that could delay the extension of services and associated development.

Community Recreation Assets Expand – Community amenities which enhance quality of life do matter when household decisions are made about where to live and when business decisions are made about location and expansion. That is why it is exciting to observe that the new Pioneer Parkway trail will be complete very soon.

Improvements to the Beaver Creek water trail are also just around the bend. At their meeting on June 15, 2020 the Johnston City Council acted to move forward with construction of a new access point at Lew Clarkson park. A ten-foot wide access trail from the lower parking lot at Lew Clarkson to the creek’s edge will be created.  A ramp will be cut into the bank to allow for easy water access for canoes and kayaks.  On the opposite bank of Beaver Creek a trail access to Terra Park will be constructed. Bids are now being accepted and are due by June 30, 2020. Construction is expected to occur this summer and fall.

Looking ahead to 2021. The NW Beaver Drive overlay project will improve the road from Merle Hay Road to NW 66th Ave. A trail extension is planned in conjunction with this project, and it will provide significant regional trail connections with the Neal Smith trail, Ankeny, the High Trestle Trail and the Walnut Ridge Recreation Area. This is also the year that reconstruction of the Trestle to Trestle bridge is planned, as well as the construction of a new trail on NW 86th Street between NW 62nd Ave. and NW 54th Ave. More health, fitness and recreation opportunities are also associated with the Ignit Sport & Fitness complex and further developments at the “Yard” at Town Center.