Floyd interchange on track in latest state transportation plan
By Bob Steenson, firstname.lastname@example.org
The interchange project on the Avenue of the Saints at the main Floyd intersection is funded and on schedule, according to the latest five-year Iowa Transportation Improvement Program, and work will likely begin this year.
The Department of Transportation’s five-year program, covering fiscal years 2022 through 2026 and approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission at its meeting this week, is a comprehensive look at the state’s projects in highways, airports, rail, public transit and trails.
“For FY 2022-2026, approximately $3.6 billion is forecast to be available for highway right of way and construction,” the commission said in a news statement.
“The commission remains committed to previous highway programming actions by continuing to include large multiyear corridor improvement projects,” the statement said. Examples it listed include the interchange on U.S. 18 at the U.S. 218 intersection in Floyd.
Pete Hjelmstad, field services coordinator for District Two of the Iowa Department of Transportation, told the Press that work on the Floyd interchange this year will include grading for the required frontage roads.
“If we get good weather this fall there may also be some work on the ramps, cross-overs and a turning lane. If the cross-over and/or turning lane work happen it will require a lane closure on US 18/218,” he said.
The five-year plan lists $21.061 million of work on the interchange in fiscal year 2021-22, which runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. That work entails:
- New bridge — $3.889 million.
- Grading and paving — $16.973 million.
- Lighting — $54,000.
- Traffic signs — $105,000.
- Mitigation — $41,000.
The only work listed for the 2022-23 fiscal year is erosion control, for $418,000.
The project is listed as one of many that is being funded through the increased revenue coming from the 10 cents per gallon fuel tax increase that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Terry Branstad in 2015.
Hjelmstad said the state has already spent just over $2 million on the project for right-of-way acquisition, relocation and condemnation, to acquire the additional land needed for the elevated interchange and the on-ramps and off-ramps.
“All right of way will be acquired by early July,” Hjelmstad said. He added that there are a few more relocations left, so that will increase the total cost for that part of the project somewhat.
The bids on the main construction part of the project are expected to be opened on July 20, he said.
The project will replace the current at-grade intersection with an elevated interchange with on-ramps and off-ramps. Two existing grade-level intersections to the west of the interchange and four to the east will be closed.
U.S. Highway 18/Iowa Highway 27 will pass over the north-south Quarry Road/Monroe Street that goes south out of Floyd between the 218 Fuel Express and Love’s Travel Stop.
The intersection has been the scene of several severe accidents over the years, including fatalities.
The other Floyd County projects listed in the state’s five-year highway plan are:
- Three miles of pavement rehab on Highway 218, 1.2 miles north of 270th Street to 0.3 miles south of County Road B59, scheduled for the current fiscal year at a cost of $1.395 million.
- Replacing the bridge on Highway 14 over Flood Creek, 3.6 miles south of County Road B45. That project is scheduled for the 2023-24 fiscal year, at a cost of $1.828 million to replace the bridge and $5,000 for right of way purchase.
- Bridge deck overlay on the Highway 218 bridge over the Cedar River, 0.2 miles south of County Road B33. That project is scheduled for the 2023-24 fiscal year at a cost of $441,000.