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Iowa City In Focus brings the people, places, and projects of Iowa City into clear view. This monthly video feature spotlights the community through in-depth storytelling.
Iowa City Municipal Airport: A Century of Flights
Take a look back on 100 years of history and learn the different roles that the Iowa City Airport has played in our community.
Gateway Project: Stage Four
Learn about the final stage of construction for the Gateway Project, which is designed to reduce flooding on Dubuque St. and Park Road Bridge.
Summer Bus Program
Discover how this program is helping kids keep their minds active during the summer break.
Bike Shorts: Bus Bike Racks
Watch to learn how you can combine using the City’s transit system and biking to stay fit, save money, reduce pollution, and get where you need to go.
we take a look back and forward I think this airports got a lot of great future coming for it as the Iowa City Municipal Airport turns 100 plus get an overview of the final stage of construction on the Gateway project and kids get a chance to learn firsthand what it's like to be an emergency responder and it all starts right now on this edition of Iowa City and focus the Iowa City Municipal Airport is celebrating a major milestone this year from airmail to commercial flights it's always played a crucial role in our community and a look back at its history shows that it also left its mark on our nation's rise in aviation 1918 that was a year the Iowa City Airport first opened fueled by the post-war aviation fever from World War one the airport was a hot spot for clubs and flying enthusiasts but in just a few years it would become more than just a place for exhibition flights the airmail service was looking for an airport in this area some place to put on the router the original airmail program only a year into its existence the transcontinental airmail was struggling to prove beneficial when flying only during the day the idea of continuing deliveries overnight meant the need for more airports to be added to its coast-to-coast route Iowa City proved to be the perfect stop for our state and this became one of the very first airmail stops across the United States from there steps were taken to further legitimize aviation in Iowa City including the shift to a Municipal Airport some of ABA shion's early pioneers landed here including Jack Knight Charles Lindbergh and Will Rogers the next step was commercial aviation with the first passenger flight landing in 1927 Boeing Air Transport was the city's first contracted airline the airport continued to shift roles over time over the years has played a number of roles starting from the air rail stop it became a world war two training center more than 2,500 pilots were trained at the airport between 1939 to 1944 and then from there it's served commercial aviation with airline service through the 70s carriers included United and Ozark Airlines and now it's one of the busiest general aviation airports in the state there are several factors that keep traffic high we've got a lot of services with the University of Iowa Hospitals a lot of business operators that can use the airport and it's really an economic tool for the area one of the biggest purposes for this Airport today is business aviation as a child John spent a great deal of time in his father's business which was located next to the airport when I was a young kid I remember being over the Truckee business that would call the loading docks airplanes would literally fly into the airport they would and taxi off the north end of the runway and park in our trailer parking lot with our semi trailers and after completing his time with the air force in the 1970s John began flying is a way to conduct business no it was critical to us aviation in small airports all around the Midwest in particular is where we go to do our business to meet our customers there also a lot of enthusiasts who fly as a hobby my name is Don Gurnett and I first started flying at the Iowa City Airport on July 7th 1961 I fly in air shows and things like that living close to the Cedar Rapids Airport he too became fascinated with aviation at a young age we lived on a farm just west of the airport and all these airplanes would fly right over our farm over the past 50 years Donna's continued to see the Iowa City Airport expand and there's been a tremendous growth here almost all these hangars some new looking hangars around here had been built just in the last few years that growth came with some major improvements including a terminal renovation runway reconstruction and new storage buildings this Airport is unique in the fact that it's been totally rebuilt in the last few years this year the airport is celebrating the major milestone of a century of flights and wants you to take part we are planning an open house celebration for the weekend of June 8th through the 10th there will be all kinds of activities including a balloon glow with hot-air balloons plane rides antique aircrafts and much more it's gonna be a great weekend for free family entertainment while the celebration looks back on past accomplishments it's also a chance to set sights on what's next for the Iowa City Airport so I think there's a very positive future and other people must think that too because they keep building more hangars around here we really got a bright future I think we're excited for the event and we're excited for the next hundred years of the Iowa City Airport riding a bike and taking the bus are two great ways to get around Iowa City but did you know you can combine the two all buses in the city's transit system are equipped with bike racks located on the front of the bus they're very easy to use here's some tips to make sure you have a smooth trip first make sure you don't have any items that could fall off while the bus is in motion such as water bottles bike locks or pumps when the bus arrives make sure the driver is aware that you need to load your bike check to make sure it's safe to step in front of the bus squeeze the handle have to release the latch then fold the bike rack down lift your bike up on the rack making sure the wheels are in the proper slots once the bike is in place place your support arm over the very top of the front tire this will ensure your bike remain securely in place ride the bus to your destination and again remind the driver that you need to unload your bike raise the support arm off of the tire and remove your bike from the rack place the bike rack back up into the stow position combining these two modes of transportation is a great way to stay fit save money reduce pollution and get where you need to go Dubuque Street serves as Iowa City's main entrance and key gateway to our community two years ago the city began a major project to reduce flooding on this road which runs along the Iowa River here's an update on the Gateway project as it nears completion it's one of the city's largest construction projects ever and it's getting closer to completion this is the last stage for moving into stage four the Gateway project is raising two Bewkes treat and replacing Park Road bridge to reduce flooding on Iowa City's main entrance for my 80 this is meant reduced lanes and shifting traffic to allow for construction drivers and pedestrians will see another change during the final construction season which does include the critical closure of Park Road Park Road bridge closed in May the new bridge is anticipated to open in about three months we're looking at about 96 days for that critical closure so everything will be open right before the fall semester starts the school year for Iowa City Community Schools and for football season closing the bridge is necessary to complete work along the river and connect the new bridge to extend the retaining wall along the east bank and elevate those southbound lanes we need to remove the East portion and the east of buttman of the existing bridge detours will be in place for drivers and pedestrians this closure will not impact the amenities on the west side of the Iowa River during the closure upper City Park lower City Park the pool hancher all of those facilities will still be open and crews are accelerating construction on that portion of work to make sure that the west end is completed before an estimated 12,000 bicyclists roll into town we're expecting that whole West portion to be complete by July 24th or 25th right ahead of RAGBRAI during the bridge closure completion of Dubuque Street will also remain a priority at the same time you're starting to see pavement go down and the northbound lanes of Dubuque Street that includes work around the mayflower residence hall so you'll also see some of that paving that was put down temporarily to turn cam bus around that'll be ripped out we'll start finishing off the frontage of Mayflower and along Kimball Road and we'll also begin between Trimble and Park Road getting that northbound pavement down and elevating northbound lanes at Park Road the Gateway project has been a large endeavor but we're nearing the end it has been a long construction project so we really appreciate all the patience that vehicles pedestrians have shown we ask that you just extend it for one more summer at this point things are just going to get easier as we started to open up lanes and open the corridor back up and be construction for you this project is a big investment to our community an average of 25 thousand vehicles travel this portion of Dubuque Street each day reducing flood concerns and enhancing the aesthetics along the entryway is a step in the right direction and as a project nears completion city staff shares your enthusiasm excited it's a big project so engineering division is pretty proud of it and excited to get it wrapped up the pedestrian permits project includes the replacement of the brick paving the reason why we're replacing that is a lot of it is not ADA compliant and also it's just a deteriorating condition in addition to the paving that needs to be replaced integrand you till these need in place as well we have some water main and so underground electrical both of them have reached their useful life that need to be replaced we are doing all new site amenities we're doing a new stage of canopy we're doing some story walls which will celebrate the history and literature of Iowa City also replacing benches big belly dual stations which are trash recyclers the existing lighting system is in need of upgrading so we're gonna have multi-level lighting for pedestrian level lighting we wrap the stage and canopy will be lit the story will also be let we'll have some up lighting of the trees some lighting on the fountain the pen mall project is split up into two major phases we have the D big street corner which is phase one and then the college chick quarter is phase two the Dubuque Street corridor is a one-year construction season it's for this year we have phase 1a which is the intersection of college in Dubuque and that's set to complete the end of July then we have the remaining portion of the big street which is set to complete the end of October then we're gonna follow up in 2019 and do the college Street corridor that starts in May of 2019 is finishes up in October of 2019 but part of the project we are maintaining pedestrian traffic at all times it's very important to the businesses to have their pedestrian traffic so we've made a point to make sure all construction doesn't inhibit festering travel so we work with the downtown district they helped us develop signs that gives direction to the businesses throughout the corridor so people should be able to find their way pretty easily the pedestrian mall improvement project we feel is a very important project from the perspective that it not only replaces aging infrastructure but also keeps the downtown pedestrian mall vibrant by upgrading the not only utilities but the site amenities feel it's a it's a big investment for the city and it's a great project emergency responders are teaming up to offer a summer camp for kids this is not only a great opportunity to learn more about these important professions but it's also designed to build confidence in the participants this is just a introduction into what we do and what our lives are like here on the job and in the firehouse good going very good all right Cameron you're up next the emergency services youth camps give kids an inside look at the roles of paramedics police and firefighters play in our community they see us on the streets and out and about doing other things this really allows them to see the nuts and bolts of what our jobs are actually like this is a positive environment we're having fun we're laughing we're learning something three four the main goal is for them to enjoy themselves and learn something new about what makes me do and what they're capable of doing there are a variety of different reasons why kids want to get involved and excited to take this camp because I wanted to learn how to do CPR and like how to help people decide about becoming a police I'd learn how many times firefighters have to go fight fires I'd be really fun to go and do all the stuff Walker paramedic police and fire department over the course of two days participants learn first aid and CPR from paramedics defense tactics from police and a variety of different firefighter skills everything in the camp is hands-on we don't have any classroom portions where we actually sit down and watch a PowerPoint that approach definitely helps keep the kids engaged I like how interactive it is and firefighters and really nice the kids are actually interacting with everything they do whether it be EMS police or fire the kids quickly pick up on the important roles that these emergency services play in our community there's quite a lot different calls they always have the fire department let them they rescue people again it's very important obviously just because they come no matter what's the emergency is beyond the practical skills the program also aims to show kids their full potential to walk away feeling more confident they're definitely facing a lot of appears whether it be Heights or small spaces so we build that self confidence in them and we take it step by step we're not forcing any of the kids to do anything but we can challenge them a little bit that they were able to choose to do something that was very uncomfortable or challenging but by working together with some of their teammates or with some of us as firefighters they're able to accomplish the goal it's really fun as soon they get a chance to take these challenges head-on I didn't think I could pull off that much weight but I thought it was just gonna follow me and I'm gonna spray everybody around me that it was fun it's a great overall experience for both the instructors our biggest goal is to have fun and we take away something that we learn in the participants it's a lot of fun the most difficult part for some it's making a favorite activity everything everything yes I like it a lot I can't realize like when I was a kid I didn't remarry much I didn't read very well and my test scores always showed that growing up I have a teaching background too using that with the fire department try and get kids more exposed to reading whoever reads the most gets to come here and do some fire fire style [Applause] 1029 1575 2,870 I won the most minutes for the money [Applause] when over some of medical equipment we use did some training on the fire hoses I found out that they use the jobs of life and that they stay at the fire station for 24 hours they help people that are sick someone gets injured or there's a fire as they come in the fire truck and help them out when we spread the hold on the tree because we got to pretend that your actual firefighters and we are putting out a fire I like about really let you could find your books that you like and you can use an imagination if there's not any pictures that you get to learn a lot open that we can expand more next year and that more schools are wanting to do it cool I had a lot of fun today when school is out for summer break there's no reason kids can't keep their minds active at the Iowa City Public Library and through a partnership with the city's transit getting downtown is both easy and free during the summer kids through grade 12 can ride any Iowa City Transit bus for free when traveling to the library just show your library card to the bus driver plus adult caregivers can also get a free ride with the child this offer is good on weekdays between the hours of 9:00 in the morning to 3:00 in the afternoon young readers can catch a lift home anytime that same day with a ride and read bus pass just present your library card to the help desk to receive a bus pass for getting home these are limited by card to one pass per day and only two passes per week take advantage of these great options for free transportation to and from the library learn more by visiting I CPL org our goal is to provide kids with the resources to explore diverse ideas to exercise imagination and express creativity next time on Iowa City InFocus are you ready for RAGBRAI details on what you need to know before thousands of cyclists roll into town we'll see you next month for another edition of Iowa City and focus
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