The Jefferson Iowa News®


  Highway 4 Overpass Plans Finalized

Jefferson Iowa News is at last able to pass along to our readers the Iowa Department of Transportation's finalized plans for the upcoming Highway 4 overpass near McKinley Street. The plans have been "shovel-ready" for some time and are now scheduled to become reality. $8.2 million in funding for the fiscal years 2011 and 2012 will be used to acquire land, construct detours, and build an 1100-foot bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad. This is in addition to the $4 million dollars the city has already received.

City officials are especially pleased that the new layout will allow the placement of at least sixteen new stop signs along Central Avenue (the detour route), Grimmell Road, and various other locations. It is hoped that the many traffic snarls that often impeded traffic on Grimmell Road will now be eliminated, and the occasional two- to three-minute delay while waiting for a train to pass will disappear, making the $12 million money well spent. Also, it provides the opportunity to pave Central Avenue, bringing it into the twentieth century.

Prefabricated overpass materials will be used for the overpass, made of a durable plastic and painted bright, DOT orange. The overpass itself will be configured in a shape that will withstand harsh Iowa winters while at the same time draw out-of-town traffic as well as tourism. These prefabricated sections will be simply snapped together, making repairs quite simple. If the DOT decides to reshape the overpass at a future date, they will be able to create a new configuration by merely unsnapping the pieces and snapping them back together again.

To see an enlarged view of the conceptualized plans for the overpass, please click on the following link:   jeffersoniowa/DOTspotplans?php.644331overpass_overview.htm   

 Rick Bland, 12-14-2009