Is Expanding Highway 75 in Sioux Center a Good Idea?

(SIOUX CENTER, IA) Some Siouxlanders are trying to put a road block to expanding a busy highway.

Sioux center and the DOT are looking at a plan that could widen the main artery through the community, and that isn't sitting well with some home owners.

The Stretch of Highway 75 running through the heart of Sioux center used to be a four-lane highway with a turn lane in the middle. But because of safety measures the city brought it down to 3 lanes. Now, it wants to expand this road again.

"We're faced with community growth, traffic growth and so we feel the need to do something to accommodate that growth as time goes on," says Paul Clousing, the City Manager of Sioux Center.

According to a study done by the Iowa DOT in 2006 traffic is expected to increase beyond the current 3-lane capacity by 2025.
But in 2007 traffic flow dropped which is one reason some people want the road to stay the same.

"You're going to have to move every storm drain. You're going to have to move every streetlight. You're going to have to take out a whole bunch of trees," says Rick Ryan, Sioux Center Resident.

A costly project Ryan says isn't worth the price tag of $6.7 million. The Iowa DOT will play about half of that and the city has a grant that will take $980,000 off the final total.
Still, Ryan is hesitant and worries a wider road could be more dangerous for pedestrians.

"Safety is number one. We've got a lot of kids that cross these streets but all the schools are on this side."

The city says it's listening.

"I'd say their main concern is probably about safety and that is our same concern," says Clousing.

The project would most likely cut into some homeowners land along 75.

"You go one, two, three, here's about seven feet. You got to move the sidewalk so they are going to have to tear out all the trees. So if they move the sidewalk, this is how close you are to their house," says Ryan, pointing out the distance between the street and a house on Highway 75.

"Some areas the sidewalk would move, some areas the sidewalk stays fairly close to where it is. But somewhere between where the sidewalk is located and the curb is located is where the new curb would be located," says Clousing.

The list of concerns goes on but residents say they just want the city to hear them out.

"Show concern I think is one of the things that a lot of people are feeling very frustrated by," says Ryan.

The City says it chose to let residents in on the expansion plan in its early stages so it can get input and concerns. The next public meeting is coming up in March.

It'll take place at 5:30 PM March 27th at the Terrace Event Center in Sioux Center