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      Construction projects disrupt Ottumwa traffic, but will be well worth the effort

      If you've done any driving in Ottumwa recently, you've probably noticed the multitude of construction projects underway around town.

      The city of Ottumwa has a fuller than usual schedule of work this season, ranging from street repair to total street replacement to sewer and water projects. Most of the bigger projects going on right now are on Ottumwa's north side, including the street replacement on Maple Avenue and the work on East Court Street.

      While closed streets and traffic is a hassle, residents should keep in mind the benefits of the construction work in the long run.

      "It is a double-edged sword because people do complain about the condition of streets and then when we do come in to repair them, they complain about the construction and traffic delays because of it," said Tom Rodgers, Ottumwa Public Information Officer. "I think it's just the state of nature with these types of things, but once it's all done, things should return to normal very quickly."

      Most of the work should be completed by winter if the dry weather continues. The two remaining projects for the year will be the second phase of the asphalt street repair program approved by the Ottumwa City Council. Those projects will be on Keota and Dubuque Streets on Ottumwa's south side.