SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (KTIV)- The $1.7-billion expansion of CF Industries Port Neal plant will bring jobs and revenue to the region. But, before construction is finished, those living along a road crowded with trucks carrying materials to the plant say they have some safety concerns.
The four-way stop on the gravel road, at 235th and Allison, is just one example of roads driven regularly by construction vehicles. "Our concern is with the kids that drive out here. Somebody's going to get hit, somebody's going to get killed," Sonja Radican, Sergeant Bluff, IA said.
The trucks barrel by as big building projects like CF Industries take place. And, the residents in the area are growing concerned. "It makes me worried for all the kids in the neighborhood that get dropped off. It makes me worried for the kids that are driving. Even for us, as parents, for the safety of us out there. Because they don't want to wait, they'll pass you. They'll fly right by you," Radican said.
Residents say that the cement and dump trucks have been a fixture since construction began in spring of last year, hitting mailboxes and forcing school busses to drop kids in driveways instead of on the road. "All the side dumps, the cement trucks. Yesterday we walked out of our house at three o'clock, and you can see the stop sign from here, and a cement truck never even slowed down for the stop sign. Just ran it," Radican said.
A hearing about the road conditions and construction, Tuesday night, brought these issues to the attention of CF representatives and Woodbury County officials. They said they had no idea the safety concern was that high, and set to work to solve the problem. "Our intent is to let the property owners know that they've got our attention. We're going to address this issue, and it will be multi-jurisdictional," John Pylelo, Director of Planning and Zoning for Woodbury County said.
Moving forward, they hope they can solve the problem, but because it's an interdepartmental affair, it may take more than a few days to solve completely. "If you live at ground zero, it's more than just growing pains. I'm not trying to belittle these people's issues. We take them seriously, and we're going to react to them, and do the very best we can to resolve their concerns," Pylelo said.
In the meantime, Sonja Radican says she believes the officials are trying to help, because she's already noticed the vehicles driving more safely along her road.
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