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Former dealership will be trailhead

Work is continuing on the former Holiday Dodge site, which underwent a major soil-cleanup project because of a gas manufacturing plant that operated there from 1905 to 1935.

City officials have announced the following plans for the site, which still is owned by Alliant Energy, along Fourth Street Southeast:

• With the soil-grading plan, the original site will lose about 1,500 cubic yards of soil.

• A public parking lot will be built that includes a connection to the existing, paved city pedestrian trail along the Cedar River. The lot will act as a trailhead for people looking to access the trail system.

• A contractor will plant 10 trees along Fourth Street Southeast and Oakland Avenue East.

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• Prairie grasses and wildflowers will be planted once workers have graded the site and placed black dirt. The process will be extensive, including planting a cover crop of oats or wheat and using an herbicide about four weeks later to kill all grasses and weeds to prepare for prairie grass.

• A gravel path will be installed to allow vehicle access for monitoring wells at the site. The trail might be incorporated into the city trail system.

• Alliant Energy will test the monitoring wells for remaining contamination.

— Tim Ruzek

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