A controversial highway renovation in Sioux Center, Iowa won't be happening. Wednesday evening, Sioux Center's city council said they're tabling the Highway 75 widening.
"That means for the foreseeable future it is no longer part of our planning," said City Council Member David Krahling.
Council members say controversy over the project has grown "unhealthy" and they'd rather end it than have the road work.
"The council feels that community unity is more important than getting this project done at this time," said Krahling.
The plan was to widen an about one mile section in town from three lanes to five. Citing traffic studies, the city said the widening was needed to cut down on rising congestion.
Brenda Fritsch lives along the route. She was worried the expansion would cut up to seven feet off her yard, remove trees, and be more dangerous for pedestrians and her family.
"It wouldn't take very much for a car, especially if you have two lanes drag racing on a Sunday night, to get hurdled into our bedrooms," said Fritsch.
She's pleased with the outcome.
"It just makes me happy that, I feel, the council did hear from our community. I felt like our community came together," said Fritsch.
Council members feel disappointment.
"I am disappointed that we were unable to have good, healthy dialogue about this project," said Krahling.
Construction was planned for 2015. But for now, at least, those plans have stalled. Seventy-five will stay the way it is.
The estimated cost of the project is $6.7 million, to be shared among federal, state, and city governments.
City council members say the issues with Highway 75 won't be going away, but they're unsure when they'll be brought up again.
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