Some of Iowa’s deadliest intersections are in dire need of makeovers, but for most, that’s years down the road. Several intersections that are the scene of repeated fatal crashes are under review by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The D.O.T.’s Sam Shea says he’s wrapping up a year-long study of the Highway 20 intersection with Seventh Street in Dyersville.
“The study’s been pretty popular,” Shea says. “The idea of building an interchange that allows full access and closes that at grade has been welcomely received. There are, of course, mixed comments with everyone which is why we’re accepting public comments so we can make all of that part of the record.”
That intersection is considered one of Iowa’s most dangerous and has been the scene of several fatal wrecks in recent years. The D.O.T. put up flashing lights and signs at the intersection this summer to alert drivers to oncoming traffic, yet a Colesburg man was killed in a crash there the day -after- the signs went up. Still, Shea says the flashing lights are not a distraction.
“That’s the first intersection in the state to get that type of signage,” Shea says. “The Missouri D.O.T. has used them frequently. Iowa D.O.T. staff went down, reviewed the way Missouri D.O.T. has theirs set up, how effective they were there. We tried ’em out here. Of course, that’s a very unfortunate accident the day after.”
Via the D.O.T. website, the agency will take comments on the Dyersville intersection through August 16th. The final say on the interchange will be a transporation commission decision. If the panel can find funding, the project could be underway in the next four to five years.
By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester