Ribbon cutting celebrates new section of four-lane Highway 20 - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Ribbon cutting celebrates new section of four-lane Highway 20

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Wednesday, a ribbon cutting near Early, IA for a new stretch of four-lane Highway 20. Wednesday, a ribbon cutting near Early, IA for a new stretch of four-lane Highway 20.

26 miles of Iowa highway just got bigger and better.

Wednesday, a ribbon cutting near Early, IA for a new stretch of four-lane Highway 20.

It's part of a project that's been going on for decades.  But there's new hope with what lies ahead.

Want to take a four-lane road from western to eastern Iowa?

Right now, there's only one option.  I-80.

But, in just over 40 more miles, you'll have another choice.

"You can see the light.  We're almost there," said Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, (R) Iowa.

"It's so important because this is the length now that makes the rest of it look like it's so doable," said Congressman Steve King, (R) Iowa.

Wednesday, a ribbon cutting for a new 26 mile four-lane stretch of Highway 20 between Rockwell City and Early.

It's another dent in a nearly 50 year old project that has been expanding Highway 20 from two lanes to four lanes.

With four lane traffic now flowing between Early and Dubuque, all that remains is the 43 mile stretch between Early and Moville.

One of the communities in that segment, Holstein.

"We're hoping for that expansion soon.  We will wait for the day when we can ribbon cut, even by Holstein," said Mayor Mary Gross.

Mayor Mary Gross says having a four lane highway from Early to Moville would mean an economic boost.

"Residential wise, we're hoping for growth.  It's always great to see your education system grow. Commercial, industrial, we're ready and waiting," said Gross.

Towns like Early have already seen positive effects.

But in order to make Holstein's hope a reality, there's still a need for funding.

"We've got to get the funding in place. It'll take some real dollars to get it finished the rest of the way, but I don't think any logical thinks we're going to stop now.  We're going to get this done," said King.

Meaning, the project may not come to completion until about 2019.

But after about 50 years of work, officials say, ten more is worth the wait.

"There's some big projects here in Northwest Iowa.  They will benefit from this.  Other business will locate along this corridor.  So the quicker it can be completed, the better," said Governor Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa.

The Highway 20 Association says Wednesday's ribbon-cutting was one year ahead of schedule, giving them some optimism for the project's completion date in 2019.

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