The motto around construction zones, for years has been, "Give them a brake."
The reason: two people have died in separate accidents in a construction zone on Highway 71, near Spencer, Iowa.
Jill Duffney couldn't believe it. Those accidents kept happening on Highway 71, right outside the Spencer business where she works.
"You think, oh my God, is someone okay or, you know. The one person that died was right over here in our parking lot almost and it was scary," said Jill Duffney.
The calls came in bunches, telling state transportation workers to make changes to the roadway.
"I have teenage kids that drive," said Duffney. "I won't let them come out here. They need to stay in town."
"Been in about a couple rear-enders, people not slowing down or people not slowing down to make turns at 55 miles an hour," said Levi Meyer of Spencer. "I mean, it's quite dangerous."
The Iowa Department of Transportation knew drastic changes needed to be made along a 12-mile stretch of road that runs out of Spencer, particularly one intersection where highways 18 and 71 come together.
"A lot of it was local driver habits," said Tony Babcock, resident construction engineer for the Iowa DOT. "A lot of local drivers not used to looking."
"People were pulling up and forgetting to look," said Mark Lawson, police chief for the Spencer Police Department. "They'd pull up to the stop sign and were expecting it to still be one way and would pull out in front of them and get T-boned."
So, about two weeks ago, the DOT sat down with the Spencer police department to start making changes.
One of the first things drivers will notice when they leave 18 and head onto 71 is the speed limit's been reduced from 55 to 45 miles an hour. Police say that's going to help a lot in reducing accidents.
"It's gone from a matter of more driver error, causing the accidents to where now you've got this huge billboard flashing in your face," said Lawson.
In addition to the billboards, the DOT has put up additional signs and put officials from the police department and state patrol to monitor the area.
"It still boils down to eliminating that driver error and sometimes, no matter what you do, you can't get over that," said Lawson.
Because the DOT is making an effort to improve things, Duffney's now breathing a lot easier.
"I haven't seen an accident since they've done that," said Duffney.
Spencer police say there are other changes to intersections along 71 that need to be addressed in the future, too.
Intersections about 15 miles up the road, in Fostoria, are candidates to have more signs, and lower speed limits.
The lawsuit states the commission violated state law in making its decision, and destroyed the economic value of the Belle's license when they selected Sioux City Entertainment.More >>
The lawsuit states the commission violated state law in making its decision, and destroyed the economic value of the Belle's license when they selected Sioux City Entertainment to develop the land-based casino in Woodbury County.More >>
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Clayton at (712) 239-4100 x209. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.