The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 18, 2014

Public learns latest about Northwest Bypass at DOT meeting


After crossing the river, the new alignment curves back to the north and reconnects with existing U.S. 63,” according to a DOT handout.

There is an environmental impact study underway that is scheduled to wrap up in 2016, Armstrong said.

The rationale for the bypass is safety — to get semi tractor-trailers out of the Oskaloosa downtown area.

According to a DOT handout sheet from the meeting, “the 2010 traffic volumes on existing U.S. 63 through Oskaloosa ranged from 4,500 to 7,700 vehicles per day (vpd) with 6 to

10 percent trucks. On existing U.S. 63 north of Oskaloosa, the volumes ranged from 2,800 to 4,500 vpd with 10 to 17 percent trucks. By 2040, the traffic volumes on these same segments are projected to increase to between 4,500 to 9,000 vpd with 8 to 13 percent trucks and 3,900 to 6,700 vpd with 12 to 20 percent trucks, respectively. The 2040 projections assume that the roadway characteristics remain the same as exists today.

“Between 2003 and 2012, there were 459 crashes on the segment of U.S. 63 within the Oskaloosa

city limits which is approximately twice the statewide average for similar roadways. During the same period, there were 50 crashes on the rural two lane segment north of the Oskaloosa city limits which was below the statewide average.”

Armstrong said most of the questions he fielded from people were typically: “Why are you here? When will the project be completed? And How will this affect me?”

Armstrong said DOT officials welcome input from the public and there will be more public information meetings to gain feedback from people in the future.


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