Lakes Corridor to present to IDOT
SPENCER — The Iowa Lakes Corridor meeting was held Thursday at the Spencer offices.
The meeting was held to discuss key topics for a regional presentation to be given to the Iowa Department of Transportation Commissioners Public Input Meeting in Sioux City on Aug. 12.
Five DOT commissioners will be at the meeting, giving the Corridor a chance to present ideas directly to them.
Several projects were brought up to be part of the presentation. Fixing the two ‘S’ curves on Highway 86 is a top priority. After the road is redone, the two curves will be posted at 60 mph instead of the current 20-25 mph.
Another part of Highway 86 is the four-mile stretch from Highway 9 to the ‘S’ curves. Environmental studies are being done because of the wildlife and prairie land bordering the highway. After this research is conducted, plans will be made as to how to restore the condition of the road.
Highway 9 will also be discussed. Truck traffic has been increasing on the highway due to wind-tower components, the ethanol plant, and farm traffic.
Highway 9 is a preferred road for oversize loads due to the few restrictions caused by sharp curves, bridges and underpasses.
All of these components have led to the deterioration of Highway 9.
Safer access to the ethanol plant in Albert City will also be a topic of discussion.
Distillers dried grain created by the ethanol plant, which is used for livestock feed, is shipped to western Iowa and Nebraska. Fran Marron of Albert City AgPartners stated that originally 70 percent of the DDG was going to be shipped by railroad. However, 100 percent of the DDG is hauled by truck. Because of the unexpected high volume of truck traffic, the county roads in the Albert City area have significant corrosion.
The cost of oil for road reconstruction has increased significantly in the last few years. Dan Eckert, Dickinson County Engineer, said that in 2006, the cost went from $100 per ton, to $230 per ton. The cost increased again to the current rate of $650 per ton.
Eckert also said that because of these high costs, fewer miles of roads are able to be restored. Approximately 20 miles of roads per year are being fixed in Dickinson County compared to 50 miles of road in past years.