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US 20 group considers stimulus package proposal

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

GALVA -- Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) District 3 Engineer Tony Lazarowicz addressed the US 20 Association at their meeting here last week.

By the end of 2010, according to Lazarowicz, US 20 will be a four-lane roadway from Dubuque to Iowa Highway 4 just west of Rockwell City. Bids will be let for paving in Calhoun County in 2009. At the same time, DOT will be letting bids for grading of relocated four-lane US 20 west of Iowa 4. Right-of-way acquisition and appraisals are taking place in western Calhoun and eastern Sac Counties.

DOT staff is currently making plans to resurface existing two-lane US 20 from Iowa Highway 110 near Schaller to the southbound intersection of US 20 and US 59 near Holstein in 2010. While not in the DOT Five Year Plan, Lazarowicz said this is standard for this type of project.

DOT is proposing the resurfacing project to be a concrete overlay including a wider roadbed, shoulders, and drainage. Patching and repairs of the existing roadbed will occur ahead of the resurfacing, ensuring its integrity. Resulting serviceability of US 20 will be outstanding and it is possible those lanes will be used as part of expanded four-lane US 20 in the future.

The anticipated federal stimulus package proposed by President-elect Barack Obama is causing DOT, cities, counties, and the state of Iowa to look at infrastructure needs. As proposed, the stimulus would go to "shovel-ready" projects that could be complete within two years. Many factors regarding the stimulus are uncertain. Lazarowicz said the DOT is preparing with the information available and is not certain how this might impact US 20.

Members of the US 20 Association were encouraged to contact their state legislators as well as DOT Commissioners and staff regarding using stimulus funds to accelerate four-lane US 20 development.

"We certainly hope stimulus funds will go either directly to four-lane US 20 or, if spent on other projects, our road will receive the windfall of any reallocation," stated Shirley Phillips, president of the Association and executive director of Sac Economic and Tourism Development.

The US 20 Corridor Association consists of representatives of city, county, and state government, economic developers, business owners, and citizens interested in the completion of statewide four-lane US 20. For more information, contact Phillips at 712-662-7383 or visit www.4lane20.com.

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