The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

January 15, 2014

Road negotiations a concern in VB County

(Continued)

“I realize you repaved a portion of Highway 2 west of there, but east of there are problems that need to be addressed,” Nixon said. “Highways 1, 16 and 2 are very important to the county.”

“And I would say the secondary roads are just as important, as well,” Armstrong responded.

DOT District No. 5 currently has 4,500 lane miles and a budget of $12 million “that is shrinking every year.” He also said, that “the Farmington bridge had issues that I don’t want to get into right now. But we’re getting ready to finish the contract.”

Much of the work is done by contract, and the number of DOT employees has fallen from 5,000 to 2,800 over the years.

“We currently contract with 126 temporaries in our district for winter operations. We’re living within our means.”

“We also have limited funds,” said Waugh.

In the end, supervisors told Armstrong that they would be interested in negotiations and to contact Barrett with information on the DOT’s decision on the county’s offer.

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