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Iowa DOT cautions travelers about work zones over Memorial Day holiday

May 22, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald AMES (SPECIAL) - Travel during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday may be slowed by road construction, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). Several projects on Iowa’s interstate roadways may warrant advance planning on the part of drivers.

Listed below are the main Iowa DOT projects that may have traffic impacts over the Memorial Day holiday. There are many more projects underway on state-maintained and county roads, as well as city streets.

Central Iowa

·Westbound U.S. 30 in Boone and Story counties from 1.8 miles east of Iowa 17 to 0.4 mile east of University Avenue in Ames is being reconstructed. Through traffic will be maintained head-to-head in the eastbound lanes. Crossovers will be utilized to accommodate access at the South Dakota and University Avenue interchanges during reconstruction.

· Reconstruction continues on the U.S. 65 bridge over the Iowa River in Iowa Falls. The former single-span, concrete, arch structure has been demolished and is being replaced with a wider, single-span, steel, arch structure. To accommodate construction, U.S. 65 is expected to be closed to through traffic until November 2011. Traffic is detoured onto Hardin County roads D-15 and S-45.

· Southbound U.S. 169 between business U.S. 20 and Iowa 7 in Fort Dodge is being reconstructed. Head-to-head traffic will be maintained on northbound U.S. 169 during construction.

· A segment of U.S. 169 one mile south of Humboldt is closed to through traffic for reconstruction from Humboldt County Road C-49 to Iowa 3 near Dakota City. Traffic is detoured around the closed segment on the west side of U.S. 169 using Humboldt County roads C-49 and P-29, and Iowa 3.

North central/Northeast Iowa

· Some bridges on Iowa 14 from the north edge of Parkersburg to the south edge of Allison in Butler County will have maintenance work underway. The contractor will be replacing reinforced, bridge-approach pavement. One-lane traffic will be controlled by traffic signals and temporary concrete barrier rail at these sites.

· Some bridges on U.S. 20 and Iowa 27 in Waterloo/Cedar Falls will have work underway to replace barrier rails. Traffic will be shifted to allow for the work to be done, but two lanes of traffic in each direction will be maintained. Traffic will be shifted by signing, channelizing devices and temporary concrete barrier rail at these locations.

Northwest Iowa

· Construction continues on Interstate 29 in Woodbury County. Traffic congestion and delays should be expected on I-29 in and around Sioux City. These projects are scheduled for completion in 2011.

1. Grading and concrete paving of southbound I-29 from 1.9 miles south of the Riverside Boulevard interchange in Sioux City to the South Dakota border

2. Concrete paving of ramps at the I-29/U.S. 20 interchange in Sioux City (The ramps from southbound I-29 to U.S. 20 are currently closed; the other ramps will be closed intermittently and detours provided.)

3. Replacement of the northbound bridge on I-29 over Singing Hills Boulevard in Sioux City (Traffic is moved to one lane in each direction in the southbound lanes.)

4. Grading and concrete paving of southbound I-29 in Sioux City from U.S. 20/I-29 interchange north to 0.25 mile south of BNSF Railway’s track (Traffic is shifted onsite to accommodate construction.)

Southwest Iowa

· Construction of four bridges on northbound I-29 in Mills County near Glenwood is underway. Traffic is shifted in a head-to-head pattern in the southbound lanes.

· One lane of I-29 is closed in each direction at the bridges just north of U.S. 30 in Missouri Valley, located in Harrison County. The restricted lane width at milepost 76 is 13 feet 6 inches.

· The eastbound lanes of the West Nishnabotna River bridge on I-80 at milepost 40 in Pottawattamie County will be reconstructed. Traffic will be routed head-to-head in the westbound lanes.

· The bridges on I-80 at mileposts 65 and 69 in Cass County will be reconstructed in the westbound lanes. Traffic will be routed head-to-head in the eastbound lanes.

· The bridge over I-80 at the Wiota interchange (exit 70) in Cass County is closed, and Iowa 148 ramp from I-80 south to Anita is closed for repair. Motorists should follow the marked detour.

· The bridge at milepost 72 on I-80 in Adair County is being repaired and traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction. The open lane is restricted to a width of 11 feet 6 inches.

· The bridge over the Middle River on I-80 at milepost 85 in Adair County will be reconstructed in the westbound lanes. Traffic will be routed head-to-head in the eastbound lanes.

South central/Southeast Iowa

· I-35 over the South River near milepost 46 in Warren County will have traffic in a head-to–head pattern in the southbound lanes for bridge reconstruction work.

· U.S. 69 over the Grand River in Davis City (Decatur County) is closed. A detour is in place for this bridge replacement project.

· Northbound I-35 near milepost 4 just south of the Lamoni interchange in Decatur County will be reduced to one lane for bridge repair work.

· Construction of two new interchanges will cause traffic shifts on U.S. 61 near

Fort Madison. Traffic will be head-to-head in the northbound lanes of U.S. 61 at the north end of the Fort Madison bypass from just north of Lee County Road J-50 to 1.25 miles south of Lee County Road J-50. Northbound U.S. 61 traffic will be head-to-head at the south end of the Fort Madison bypass from the U.S. 61/Iowa 2 intersection north 0.4 miles.

Eastern Iowa

· Pavement reconstruction on I-80 at Iowa City between mileposts 244 and 248 has caused a traffic shift with a narrow roadway and installation of concrete barrier rails. Two lanes of travel remain available in each direction. The speed limit has been reduced to 55 mph. Westbound truck traffic is directed to use the left lane.

· A pavement replacement project on I-280 in Scott County has reduced traffic to one lane in each direction from I-80 south 1.5 miles. Access at the U.S. 6 interchange may be intermittently restricted.

· A project to rehabilitate the Mississippi River bridges on I-74 in the Quad Cities has caused one lane of the Iowa-bound bridge to be closed. Motorists should be alert to traffic congestion and expect delays.

There are many other ongoing construction projects affecting traffic on state, county and local road systems. Details of all current Iowa DOT construction projects can be found at <> .

Tips for driving safely in work zones

Expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.

Slow down and do not tailgate. Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead. The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision.

Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and road workers and their equipment.

Pay attention to the signs. Warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone.

Obey flaggers. The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.

Stay alert and minimize distractions. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations, using cell phones, texting or other distractions while driving in a work zone.

Keep up with the traffic flow. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging as soon as possible. Do not drive right up to the lane closure and then try to merge.

Be patient and stay calm. Work zones are not there to inconvenience travelers. Remember, road workers are improving the road for your use.

Watch for persons wearing high visibility (HiViz) apparel. All persons, including the media, are required by federal law to wear HiViz apparel when in highway work zones.

Prepare for your trip to take a little more time. Check radio, TV or websites ( <> ) or call 511 for traffic information. Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time.

Be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones.


Contact for general work zone issues: Mark Bortle at 515-239-1587 or

Contacts for project-specific information:

Central Iowa - Wes Musgrove at 515-239-1542 or

North central/Northeast Iowa - Dave Roeber at 641-422-9448 or

Northwest Iowa - Darwin Bishop at 712-274-5826 or

Southwest Iowa - George Feazell at 712-243-7628 or

South central Iowa - Jim Armstrong at 641-469-4005 or

East central Iowa -Bruce Kuehl at 319-364-0235 or

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Iowa Department of Transportation - 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa, 50010, United States



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