A bill pending in the Iowa Senate would put improvements to a section of Highway 63 between Oskaloosa and Waterloo higher on the Iowa DOT’s priority list.
Senator Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from Cedar Falls, is working on legislation to classify that 100-mile segment of the highway as part of the state’s “commercial industrial network.”
“If you look at Highway 63 in particular, it carries more truck traffic north to Minnesota and Chicago than the Avenue of the Saints (does),” Danielson says. “And so anything we can do to improve the flow of business and commerce and improve the flow of Highway 63 is a good thing.”
According to Danielson, about one in every five vehicles on Highway 63 is a truck or semi.
“Truckers kind of want the most efficient route because it’s their business and, for a lot of reasons, Highway 63 carries significantly more truck traffic than other highways,” Danielson says.
Safety improvements to the Oskaloosa-to-Waterloo segment of Highway 63, like longer turning lanes and widening the shoulders, would be higher on the DOT’s priority list if the bill passes the legislature.
“A lot of (Highway) 63, you have single-wheel/single-car off-the-road accidents, which is the highest number of accidents on our two-lane highways,” Danielson says. “Just a simple four-foot shoulder reduces those accidents significantly.”
Highway 63 crosses the Iowa/Missouri border near Bloomfield, passes through Oskaloosa and Waterloo enroute to points north in Minnesota.