SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (KTIV)- Highway 75 expansion in Sioux Center, Iowa has been controversial from the get-go.
"When we had our last public hearing, there were probably about 400-450 people at that hearing," Paul Clousing, City Manager.
City Manager Paul Clousing says some Sioux Center residents were concerned a two-lane expansion would bring the highway too close to their homes. The city tabled the expansion in March of last year.
"Council said they wanted to put this project on hold for a while because they felt that the cooperation that we've always had in the community is more important than a highway project at this point. They really wanted to see the community come back together," Clousing said.
But now, traffic numbers are up. The city has brand new funding from the Iowa DOT to launch another study, to research options for solving the city's growing pains on the main road through town.
"We still have community growth, and that's a good thing for us. But with that growth comes some of the growing problems, and one of those problems is traffic on Highway 75," Clousing said.
A previous study in 1998 changed the highway from four to three lanes, which Sioux Center's utilities manager, Murray Hulstein, says lowered the number of accidents on the road. Hulstein says he's hoping this new study will help them lower those numbers even more.
"Basically what this study is, is we're just looking to gain more information, look at alternatives for safe pedestrians, safe ways to move traffic through town in an efficient way," Murray Hulstein, Utilities Manager.
Both Clousing and Hulstein say they hope whatever comes out of it ends up being the best way to help Sioux Center stay a safe community.
"As in any decision, you gather as much information as you can, and then as a city, that decision will be made somewhere down the path. At this point, we do not know what that decision will be. It's a fact-finding effort for our community," Hulstein said.
And they say an effort that won't be made without plenty of community input.
The study will include a look at other comparable highways all over the country to see what worked at those sites, and what didn't.
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