River Road Hillside

A pile of gravel, mud and debris sits at the base of a hill along River Road. At the top of the hill, a State of Iowa communications tower was built last year. Dozens of trees were removed from the hillside during construction, and contractor Motorola Solutions Inc., has not begun work its officials promised it would do to mitigate erosion that sends debris down the hillside and over River Road during heavy rain events.

It was with indignation that the Iowa Falls City Council on Tuesday granted the owner and builders of a communications tower permission to access the site along River Road that they’ve always had permission to access.

The beginnings of the saga around the State of Iowa’s 425-foot communications tower, and the turmoil that has followed its construction go back to the spring of 2017. In April of that year, officials from the Iowa Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety and from Motorola Solutions Inc., approached the Iowa Falls City Council to request permission to construct a tower that would become part of the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System. The Iowa Falls tower would be part of a network of similar towers across the state that would facilitate radio traffic between first responders, road crews and other agencies.

River Road Trees

A May 2018 photo of the River Road hillside shows black plastic fences that were put in place by Motorola Solutions Inc., after the hillside was cleared of trees. Since then, heavy rain events have washed gravel, dirt and those plastic fences down the hill. They have not been replaced.

River Road Hillside

The site of a State of Iowa communications tower along River Road in Iowa Falls has been the source of strife for more than a year after the hill was stripped of dozens of mature trees during construction. During heavy rain events, gravel, mud and debris wash down the hill and cover River Road, and then city employees clear the road to make it passable.

River Road Hillside

The site of a State of Iowa communications tower along River Road in Iowa Falls has been the source of strife for more than a year after the hill was stripped of dozens of mature trees during construction. During heavy rain events, gravel, mud and debris wash down the hill and cover River Road, and then city employees clear the road to make it passable. Minor erosion controls that were put in place by contractor Motorola Solutions Inc., a year ago have washed out and not been replaced.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.