2008-2009 Archives

Consultant Proposes Funding Iowa Highway Patrol from State Gas Tax
This news release was added to the website on December 11, 2009
From Radio Iowa – December 10, 2009
“A major point of debate in the 2010 legislative session may be the consultants’ recommendation that the operations of the Iowa State Highway Patrol be financed with $50-million worth of state gas taxes. That money is presently reserved for construction and maintenance of roads and bridges and the state’s construction industry will likely mount a lobbying campaign against that proposal.”

This proposal will result in less monies available for road construction and maintenance. Just a few years ago the funding for the Iowa State Highway Patrol was shifted from the road fund to the general fund. The US 20 Association will be closely monitoring this situation.

DOT to cut budget by $17 million, but doesn't plan layoffs
This news release was added to the website on December 2, 2009
By William Petroski Ÿ bpetroski@dmreg.com Ÿ December 1, 2009

The Iowa Department of Transportation plans $17 million in budget cuts, but there will be no layoffs, DOT Director Nancy Richardson said Monday.

Read the entire article here:

US House Passes Extension to Highway Bill
This news release was added to the website on September 25, 2009

On September 23, 2009, the US House voted to extend the current highway bill (SAFETEA LU) for three months, giving the legislation a December 31, 2009, expiration date.  A longer extension is expected to be passed at the end of the year – as much as 18 months.

Here’s a link to the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee website with the information on yesterday’s extension.

The Senate will need to pass an extension as well for this to become effective.

Progress on Four-Lane US 20 Continues in Webster and Calhoun Counties
This news release was added to the website on September 14, 2009

Iowa DOT District 3 Engineer Tony Lazarowicz told the US 20 Corridor Association grading of the new four-lane right-of-way in Webster and eastern Calhoun Counties is nearing completion. Paving will begin in 2010 and conclude by the end of the calendar year. He shared the update during the Association’s meeting held at the Twin Lakes Christian Center north of Rockwell City on September 11.

Lazarowicz also said all bids have been let and contracts awarded for grading of four-lane US 20 in western Calhoun and eastern Sac Counties to US 71 at Early. Grading for the segment from Iowa Highway 4 to County Road N-14 east of Sac City will begin in 2010 with paving planned for 2011 and 2012 when it will open to traffic. Grading from N-14 to US 71 will begin in 2011 with paving to follow. Plans call for this segment to open to traffic at the end of 2013.

While grading and paving takes place east of US 71, survey crews have been at work on the segment between Moville and Correctionville. By the end of 2009, all survey work from Moville to Holstein will be complete. In 2010, survey work from Holstein to Early will be done as well. This information goes to DOT designers in Ames who will work on four-lane US 20 from US 71 to Moville according to Lazarowicz.

“It’s exciting to anticipate dirt moving in Sac County in 2010 and concrete going down in Calhoun County at the same time,” said Shirley Phillips, president of the US 20 Association. “As an Association, we remain dedicated to working with the Iowa DOT as well as encouraging elected officials to support completion of this second east-west four-lane in Iowa.”

The Association includes representatives of development organizations, chambers, city, county, and state government, along with other stakeholders as well as individual citizens interested in seeing US 20 completed as a four-lane roadway across Iowa. Learn more about the Association by visiting their website at www.4lane20.com.

US 20 Association Meeting Set for September 11
This news release was added to the website on September 2, 2009

Group will meet at Twin Lakes Christian Center in Calhoun County
The US 20 Corridor Association will hold their regular bi-monthly meeting on Friday, September 11, at 10:00 am. They will meet at the Twin Lakes Christian Center, 7718 Twin Lakes Road, Manson. Association President Shirley Phillips says Iowa DOT District 3 Engineer Tony Lazarowicz will be at the meeting to update the group on construction activities in Webster, Calhoun, and Sac Counties as well as planning work going on west of US 71.

The public is invited to attend the US 20 Corridor Association meeting. The Association includes representatives of development organizations, chambers, city, county, and state government, along with other stakeholders as well as individual citizens interested in seeing US 20 completed as a four-lane roadway across Iowa. Current plans call for US 20 to be completed as a four-lane from Dubuque to Early by 2013. Additional study and planning are underway for the segment from Early to Moville at the same time.

King Secures Funding For Highway 20
This news release was added to the website on August 6, 2009
Congressman Steve King announced that a federal appropriation for U.S. Highway 20 was included in H.R. 3288, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2010.

King secured $750,000 in funding to continue construction of the final 90 miles of four-lane Highway 20 in northwest Iowa. This funding is in addition to $570,000 the project received earlier this year. Federal funding for Highway 20 totals more than $26 million during Congressman King’s time in Congress.

"For decades, many of us in northwest Iowa have been working together to four-lane Highway 20," said King. "This funding will continue progress toward the completion of this important project.”

In requesting funding for this project, Congressman King complied with all earmark transparency standards, including a Congressional record submission that includes the name of the request and a description of how the funds will be spent.

DOT Commissioner Durham Addresses US 20 Association
This news release was added to the website on July 14, 2009
At the July 10, 2009, meeting of the US 20 Corridor Association, Iowa DOT Commissioner Debi Durham offered a presentation which details big picture thinking as well as current work on four-lane US 20 in western Iowa.

The US 20 Corridor Association thanks Commissioner Durham for her willingness to address our meeting and for her work on the Commission.

More (opens in a new tab or window)

US 20 Receives Federal Funding
This news release was added to the website on June 26, 2009
Monies designated for activity west of US 71

In an article from the Fort Dodge Messenger, details on a federal appropriate for four-lane US 20 are discussed.

Federal Award to aid U.S. 20
By Bill Shea

The federal government has awarded $533,520 to continue making U.S. Highway 20 a four-lane route through northwestern Iowa.

The money is to be invested in the highway between the border of Calhoun and Sac counties and Moville in Woodbury County, according to the Federal Highway Administration. That stretch is part of the last remaining section of the highway that has not been expanded to four lanes.

Read the entire article here:

US 20 Corridor Association Presentation to DOT Commission
This news release was added to the website on June 12, 2009

Shirley Phillips thanks Commissioners for progress and encourages further four-lane construction programming

US 20 Corridor Association President Shirley Phillips addressed the Iowa DOT Commission during their June 9 meeting in Cedar Falls. She thanked the Commission for their commitment to four-lane US 20 and the construction included in the most recent Five Year Plan. She also spoke about the need for completing The Midwest Connector, finishing the 46-mile segment west of US 71 to Moville.

See the slides from the presentation by clicking here.

Representatives of the US 20 Association attend monthly DOT Commission meetings. Bob Singer, Steve Hoesel, and Buck Boekelman stay in touch with the Commission and staff. They report back to the Association during bi-monthly meetings and provide direction for advocacy for four-lane US 20.

The Association also made a commitment to make formal presentations to the Commission during their meetings held in the field. Michelle Bostinelos, transportation planner for SIMPCO in Sioux City, will make a presentation for the Association at the Commission meeting set for August 11 in Council Bluffs. Michelle will share results of SIMPCO’s recent long-range transportation planning. Their process included a survey of their members and completion of four-lane US 20 was their highest priority.

Draft 5 Year Plan/US 20 Work in Western Iowa (opens in a new tab or window)

U.S. Highway 20 — our vision and our future
This news release was added to the website on May 11, 2009
From the Fort Dodge Messenger – submitted by Shirley Phillips, US 20 Corridor Association President
Longtime campaign to make thoroughfare four lanes statewide is on track

POSTED: May 10, 2009
Four Lane U.S. Highway 20 - a vital part of our future - is becoming a reality. Although proponents of this expansion have been working on the project since the 1960s, now, more than ever, we are seeing the fruits of our labor.


Sioux City Journal Editorial: Highway 20 Progress Continues
This news release was added to the website on March 20, 2009
March 19, 2009

We have criticized much of what's in the nearly $800 billion federal economic "stimulus" bill as wasteful spending. Excluded from our criticism, however, have been major road and bridge projects.

Improving America's aging, inadequate and deteriorating network of roads and bridges not only is essential to the nation, but those kinds of projects put people to work and generate both short- and long-term economic benefits for affected towns, cities and states. If federal stimulus money must flow from Washington, using it to build and repair roads and bridges strikes us as valuable and cost-effective.

Read more here.

King Secures New Funding For Highway 20
This news release was added to the website on March 14, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Steve King today announced that a federal appropriation for Highway 20 in western Iowa has been included in H.R. 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009. President Obama signed the legislation into law Wednesday.

King secured $570,000 for continued construction of a four-lane U.S. 20 in northwest Iowa from the county line of Sac and Calhoun counties to Moville. This funding brings total federal funding secured for Highway 20 construction in western Iowa to more than $26,000,000 during Congressman King’s time in Congress. The four-lane project will increase traveler safety and economic development and stem population loss in one of Iowa’s most productive regions.

"For decades, many of us in northwest Iowa have been working together to four-lane Highway 20," said King. "We turned hope into a promise. A promise has now become a plan and soon it will be a reality. This funding continues the process of turning that hope into a reality."

In requesting funding for this project, Congressman King complied with all earmark transparency standards, including a Congressional record submission that includes the name of the request and a description of how the funds will be spent.

When Congressman King initially requested the funding in early 2008, he did so with the understanding that his requests, and those of other members, would be addressed by the House through the normal appropriations process. Instead, all member requests were lumped into a single, 1,222 page, $410 billion spending bill that was written behind closed doors, with no legislative review or formal member input. The bill was made available for public scrutiny less than 48 hours before Members voted on it.

As a result, Congressman King opposed H.R. 1105 during House consideration of the bill on February 25. The $410 billion "omnibus" spending bill significantly expands the federal deficit and funds the federal government for a mere seven months. That’s over $58.5 billion in taxpayer dollars per month.

This news release was added to the website on March 14, 2009


WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham has secured $855,000 in federal funds to expand to four lanes a 20-mile segment of Highway 20 in Webster County and Calhoun County. Currently, that stretch of the highway has only two lanes.

"This project will allow for smoother travel across Iowa, and it’ll make the transport of people and goods more convenient," Congressman Latham said. "An improved and modernized infrastructure will pay dividends for Iowa long into the future."

The funds will go to the Iowa Department of Transportation, which will oversee the project.

The funds were included in an omnibus appropriations bill that passed the House on Feb. 25 and in the Senate on March 10. The bill must still gain the approval of the president before it can become law, which is expected in the next few days.

Governor Promises to Veto Fuel Tax Increase
This news release was added to the website on March 8, 2009

In a blow to advocates for improved transportation infrastructure in Iowa, Governor Chet Culver today said he will veto a fuel tax increase if it reaches his desk. As a result of his action, this legislation supported by highway coalitions across the state appears to be off the table this legislative session.

In a press release, Culver’s statement reads, "The fact is we have better alternatives when it comes to improving Iowa’s roads and bridges than making Iowans pay more money at the pump. President Obama’s federal recovery plan provides Iowa with over $350 million for transportation. And my own jobs and infrastructure proposal will include another $250 million for transportation, especially for road safety and deficient bridges.

"I will not sign an increase in the gas tax, I will not make Iowans pay higher taxes, and I want legislators to know this before spending time on an issue when we have more pressing concerns."

The US 20 Corridor Association joined with other highway coalitions in support of a fuel tax increase because it is more accurately described as a user fee. Those who use Iowa’s roads more, regardless of where they reside, pay more for their maintenance and expansion of the system.

In a story posted on the Des Moines Register website on March 6, 2009, it says Senator Tom Rielly, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, declared the fuel tax study bill dead. Senator Rielly has previously gone on the record saying the increase is the most fair and equitable way to help pay for billions of dollars in needed road repairs in the future.

The fuel tax was included as one of several potential means for raising revenue for Iowa transportation in TIME-21, a study commissioned by the Legislature. In the study, Iowa’s Department of Transportation identified significant revenue shortages. Legislative action in 2008 resulted in an increase in registration fees but did not meet all the needs detailed in TIME-21.

Without a fuel tax increase as possible means for meeting the short-fall, remaining options being discussed are the Governor’s bonding proposal as well as a 1 percent increase in the time-of-purchase registration fee, the latter predicted to raise $54 million annually. This is far short of the $267 million annual short fall left after the Legislator’s initial TIME-21 funding mechanism was put in place in 2008.

Revenue generated by the fuel tax is constitutionally protected meaning those monies can be used only for roads. Other revenue generating options are not protected and can be diverted from the stated purpose.

The US 20 Corridor Association will discuss the Governor’s statement and its implications at their next regular meeting which will be Friday, March 13 at 10 am in Sac City at Iowa State Bank.

Highway Groups Lobby for Fuel Tax Increase
This news release was added to the website on February 6, 2009

Fuel tax rate in Iowa has remained constant since late 1980s

More than 50 individuals from Clinton to Sioux City joined together on January 28 to lobby state legislators regarding funding for Iowa’s transportation infrastructure. Mayors, county supervisors and engineers, economic developers, along with representatives of business and industry representing several Iowa highway corridor associations and coalitions joined together to carry the message, "Fully fund TIME-21."

"Iowa needs good roads," remarked Shirley Phillips, president of the US 20 Corridor Association and executive director of Sac Economic and Tourism Development. "We appreciate the legislature’s commitment to meeting these needs by passing increases in vehicle registration fees last session. Yet the needs remain greater than revenues. We must consider a fuel tax increase – a user fee – to fill the gap."

Iowa’s aging transportation infrastructure requires significant investment for simple maintenance. At the same time, the need to expand the state’s transportation network to accommodate new industries such as biofuels and wind energy, as well as addressing traveler safety mean more money is needed.

As the delegation met with Rep. Brian Quirk, chair of the House Transportation Committee, Senator Tom Rielly, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, and Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley, they  heard different versions of the same message. These legislators understand a fuel tax increase is the most equitable way to increase revenues because all users of Iowa roads participate and because it has minimal impact on the family budget.

"A large pizza. That’s what it means for the average Iowa family each year," stated Edith Pfeffer, president of the US 30 Coalition. "By increasing the fuel tax just five to eight cents per gallon, it will cost the average Iowa family about $25 per year. That’s the cost of a large pizza." The result of this fuel tax increase will add $260 million annually to the Road Use Tax Fund in constitutionally protected funds. Raising Iowa’s fuel tax eight cents per gallon will bring Iowa to the national average rate.

Because fuel tax does generate constitutionally protected funds which can only be used for roads, members of the Iowa Motor Truck Association are supportive of the proposal, according to Dave Scott, lobbyist for the organization. And in an unusual position, the Iowa Farm Bureau also advocates for a fuel tax increase. Joe Johnson, state policy advisor for Farm Bureau, said their membership rarely takes a position in favor of a tax or fee increase of any kind. However, their membership sees the fuel tax as the most fair means to provide revenue to support transportation infrastructure. Iowans for Tax Relief officially holds a neutral opinion on the proposal.

Iowa DOT Director Nancy Richardson encouraged the delegation to continue their lobbying and said she has been meeting with legislators to share much the same message. She, and an aide to Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge, will carry the delegation’s message to Governor Chet Culver and Lieutenant Governor Judge.

Transportation Day on the Hill has become an annual event with representatives of Highways 20, 30, 44, 61, 63, 69, along with county and city officials.

US 20 Environmental Assessment and FONSI Available
This news release was added to the website on December 30, 2008

The Federal Highway Administration released their Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) statement regarding the Environmental Assessment conducted by the Iowa DOT on US 20 from Early to Moville. The FONSI represents a significant milestone in the continued development of four-lane US 20 and opens the opportunity for further development and planning to happen as the DOT Commission desires.

Copies of both the Environmental Assessment and FONSI are available for viewing at the Public Libraries in Moville, Correctionville, Cushing, Holstein, Galva, Schaller and Early.

Preparing for 2009 – Continuing the Push
Transportation Day at the Capitol Set for January 28

This news release was added to the website on December 30, 2008

As currently planned, US 20 will be four-lane to Early (US 71) by 2013 leaving just over 40 miles to be designed and built. A Finding of No Significant Impact Statement from the Federal Highway Administration in November 2008 opens the door to further design and progress from US 71 to Moville.

While the DOT Commission’s commitment to completing this project is clear, additional monies and legislative support will speed progress on the final miles of this statewide project.

On Wednesday, January 28, members of the US 20 Association will join with our counterparts representing other corridors to lobby members of the Iowa Legislature to continue their work on fully funding TIME 21 legislation.

During the US 20 Association meeting on January 9, final details and arrangements for transportation day at the capitol will be shared.

US 20 Anticipated to Be Resurfaced Next Summer
This news release was added to the website on December 30, 2008

Preliminary activity by the Iowa DOT is underway for US 20 to be resurfaced from State Highway 110 (Schaller) to M-25 (Galva). This project is not yet included in the DOT’s Five Year Plan. It will be proposed and is anticipated to be approved by the Commission for resurfacing to begin in Fiscal Year 2010 (July 2009).

This section of two-lane US 20 is in poor condition and will benefit from the resurfacing project. DOT has been in contact with officials from the cities of Schaller and Galva regarding the project as they plan to detour traffic into the two communities using Highway 110, D-15, and M-25.

DOT Engineer Lazarowicz Will Update Association on January 9
This news release was added to the website on December 30, 2008

Iowa DOT District 3 Engineer Tony Lazarowicz will attend the US 20 Corridor Association meeting on Friday, January 9. He will update the group on progress made on four-lane US 20 in Webster and Calhoun Counties before activities ground to a halt due to winter weather. He will also be available to answer questions about the project.

Federal Highway Administration Releases FONSI Document on US 20
This news release was added to the website on November 8, 2008

US 20 Association applauds action which opens door for construction from Early to Moville

During their meeting on November 7, Iowa DOT District 3 Engineer Tony Lazarowicz told the US 20 Corridor Association the Federal Highway Administration had issued a "Finding of No Significant Impact" statement on proposed four-lane US 20 from Early to Moville. With this statement, preliminary environmental and archeological work can be considered complete so design work can begin.

"We are thrilled to know the DOT maintains a high level of commitment to completing four-lane US 20 in western Iowa," remarked Shirley Phillips, executive director of Sac Economic and Tourism Development and president of the US 20 Corridor Association. "We celebrate the fact US 20 will be built as a four-lane from Moorland to Early by 2013 per the DOT Five Year Plan and we are very happy to know progress is being made on the remaining 42 miles from Early to Moville as well."

Congressman Steve King also attended the Association's meeting and congratulated the group on their continued commitment to four-lane US 20. "This effort is over 40 years long and to finally be at this point, when we will see four-lane US 20 come to Early by 2013, is rewarding for all of us," he stated. "Now it is a necessity to plug in the last 42 miles."

The US 20 Corridor Association plans to participate in Transportation Day at the State Capitol on January 28 with other highway groups to inform and encourage lawmakers to increase funding in the TIME-21 program to the level requested by DOT. "The state, cities, and counties all benefit from improved transportation infrastructure," Phillips said. "Economic development happens only where good transportation exists."

The US 20 Corridor Association consists of representatives of city, county, and state government, economic developers, business owners, and citizens interested in the completion of statewide four-lane US 20. For more information, contact Phillips at 712-662-7383.

US 20 Corridor Association Applauds DOT Commission Action

This news release was added to the website on October 14, 2008

Four-lane highway will reach US 71 at Early by 2013

The Iowa Department of Transportation Commission voted to approve an amendment to their 2009-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) today. The amendment programs additional revenues generated by TIME 21 and includes an additional $48 million for four-lane US 20 in western Iowa.

Construction of four-lane US 20 on new alignment from Moorland in Webster County to Iowa Highway 4 just west of Rockwell City is underway now. The STIP before today's amendment included funding to take the road all the way to County Road N-14 just east of Sac City. Now it will extend to Highway 71 just north of Early.

"We are thrilled the Commission programmed 12 more miles of four-lane US 20," remarked Shirley Phillips, president of the US 20 Association and executive director of Sac Economic and Tourism Development. "As DOT staff told us, this schedule will see 46 additional miles of four-lane US 20 built over 4½ years - we will literally see the dirt fly!"

As advocates for four-lane US 20 in Iowa, the Association works closely with stakeholders across the state to influence public policy, DOT staff and commissioners, as well as seeking support from the public. "We have been working toward this goal for decades," Phillips explained. "We could not be more pleased with the DOT Commission's commitment to completing this long-awaited project which will provide four-lane transportation in underserved northwest Iowa."

With 46 miles of four-lane US 20 now included in the DOT STIP, just over 40 miles remain to fill the gap. Preliminary planning and design work is underway on each mile of the remaining two-lane segment from US 71 at Early to Moville. "Our Association will continue to press toward our goal which will see statewide four-lane US 20 completed as quickly as possible," Phillips concluded.

Sioux City Journal Editoral 9-17-08
Another 12 miles?

On the surface, 12 miles of highway doesn't seem like much of a stretch. When placed in the context of the continuing effort to four-lane Highway 20 across Iowa, it becomes much bigger.

As the Journal's Bret Hayworth reported in our Tuesday editions, the Iowa Transportation Commission will decide at its Oct. 14 meeting in Muscatine whether to approve $49 million for four-laning 12 miles of Highway 20 from two miles east of Sac City to Early. To read the complete article, click here.

Four-Lane Plans from Early to Moville

Iowa DOT held a Location Design Public Hearing on four-lane US 20 from Early to the current four-lane start point east of Moville on August 26, 2008.

As with all DOT hearings of this type, there was no formal presentation. Maps of the proposed new alignment were available for the public to view and many DOT staff members were available to answer questions.

As initially proposed, four-lane US 20 will be expanded with two new lanes added north of the existing roadway in Sac and most of Ida Counties. West of Holstein, the new lanes will be built south of the existing road through rural Woodbury.

In viewing the maps, it is clear the proposed alignment results in the fewest farmstead and home displacements possible. It also takes into consideration right-of-way already owned by DOT in Ida County, though that is no longer sufficient due to current design standards.

In speaking with Iowa DOT Field Services Coordinator Dakin Schultz at the hearing, we learned the majority of comments received at the event were positive. Some landowners are concerned about the impact to their property and DOT will be working closely with them for the best outcome possible.

Written statements regarding this proposed expansion of US 20 to four-lanes in Sac, Ida, and Woodbury Counties will be accepted until September 15. Please contact Mark Kerper, location and environment, highway division, Iowa DOT, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010, or 515-239-1225.

The following information was included in the document prepared by DOT for this hearing.

• The Iowa State Highway Commission adopted the freeway system plan in 1965, including the planned construction of a freeway along the US 20 corridor. Funding to upgrade US 20 began in 1965.

• Upgrading US 20 between Moville and Early to a four-lane highway supports the objectives of the Iowa legislature.

• The Transportation Commission approved the development of US 20 from near Moville east to Early as a four-lane highway in June of 1998.

• Parts of the (existing) highway were constructed as early as 1936.

• Data from 2007 shows the sufficiency ratings for (existing) US 20, within the project limits, vary from 50 to 81 (tolerable to good).

• Unless significant impacts are identified as a result of public review and at the public opportunity for input, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will be prepared.

DOT Commission Plans for TIME-21 Revenues
By Steve Hoesel, US 20 Corridor Association

During the September 8, 2008, Commission workshop, staff and Commissioners agreed to the content of a preliminary document to be officially considered during the upcoming October Commission meeting. The unofficial action during Monday's workshop finalized a preliminary discussion for TIME-21 funded additions/amendments to the 2009-2013 STIP to include the following projects:

• US 20 from US 71 to County Road N-14 (four-lane grading in 2011 and four-lane paving in 2013) ($48 million).
This addition will complete the Moorland to Early section of US 20 four-lane on new right of way. All other work on this section was already included within the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).

• US 30 from State Center to IA 330 (additional two lanes) ($18.2 million)

• US 63 from IA 3 to IA 188 (additional two lanes) ($30.8 million)

• US 169 from Humboldt to Fort Dodge (super three lane format) 2010 and 2011 ($15.4 million)

• I-380 in Black Hawk County (reconstruction in 2013) ($5.3 million)

• I-380 in Linn County (reconstruction in 2013) ($14.9 million)

• I-35 in Worth County (reconstruction in 2013) ($26.4 million)

This preliminary document will be open for public comment and an official adoption vote by the Commission will be taken on October 14. While changes are possible, they are not expected. If anything would jeopardize this schedule it would be availability of funds from either the federal government or Iowa's RUTF.

This is very good news for US 20. We will see a completed four-lane from Moorland to US 71 by the end of 2013. That leaves 44 miles between Early and Moville and preliminary activities are underway to set-up later construction on that segment. The Iowa DOT has shown considerable commitment to statewide four-lane US 20 completion in the 2009 to 2013 STIP.

US 20 And I-80
Estimated Annual Daily Truck Traffic 2020
Estimated Annual Daily Truck Traffic 2035
2008 Dot New Construction Projects
View a photo slideshow of the latest US 20 summit.
US 20 Projects in 2008-2012 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program
Available now, "FINISH MAKING US 20 4 LANES!" bumper stickers

Click any of the thumbnails below to open a new window with a larger view of that map

Click to open a new window with a larger view of this image Click to open a new window with a larger view of this image Click to open a new window with a larger view of this image

Work on the railroad overpass near Moorland is gaining momentum with better weather allowing dirt work to progress.


You can now see where four-lane US 20 will sit in these photos from west of Knierim.

Photos from the July 11th, 2008 meeting

Members of the US 20 Association attended the July 11, 2008, meeting with their trademark red polo shirts including (l to r) Mark Buschkamp, Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation; Floyd Magnusson, Fort Dodge; Nancy Houska, Heartland Marketing Group, Early; Daryl Watts, Eagle Grove; Sharon Irwin, Early City Clerk; Leila Smith, Early; Sharon Mayo, Sac City; V.H. "Buck" Boekelman, Fort Dodge; Shirley Phillips, Sac Economic and Tourism Development, Sac City; Mary Gross, Mayor of Holstein; and Lorna Burnside, Buena Vista County Supervisor, Storm Lake.

Former state legislator Leonard Anderson is interviewed by Mike Zwier of KTIV TV of Sioux City at the US 20 Corridor Association meeting in Sioux City on July 11, 2008.

The Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City hosted a program on the development of US 20 in northwest Iowa on July 11, 2008. Presenters included (l to r) Mark Monson, Woodbury County Supervisor; Leonard Anderson, former state legislator, Sioux City; V.H. "Buck" Boekelman, Fort Dodge; and Steve Hoesel, Fort Dodge. The presenters discussed the history of the development of four-lane US 20 in northwest Iowa.

DOT Commission Begins Planning for TIME-21 Revenues

Iowa DOT Commission and staff are considering potential projects for the use of an additional $188 million In TIME-21 monies to be incorporated into a revised 2009 to 2013 STIP (known commonly as the Five Year Plan). Discussions have begun and an allocation decision will be made at the Commission's October meeting. Projects being discussed for funding are:

U.S. 20 from N-14 to just west of U.S. 71 near Early - (2010-2012) $48.6 million for four-lane grading and paving

U.S. 30 from State Center to IA 330 - (2010) $18.2 million for four-lane grading and paving

U.S. 63 from IA 3 to IA 188 - (2010-2012) $30.8 million for four-lane grading and paving

U.S. 169 from Humboldt to Fort Dodge - (2010-2011) $15.4 million for safety improvements

These projects would consume approximately $113 million of the funds available. Therefore, additional projects can be added to the list and a large number of candidates exist.

US 20 Corridor Association members should contact IDOT Commissioners and staff to urge them to keep funding for the US 20 expansion from Sac City to Early within the list of projects being considered. Association members should also urge them to consider right of way purchases and some limited construction on the remaining 44 miles of two-lane US 20 from Early to Moville.

U.S. 20 widening gets federal grant

The project to move U.S. Highway 20 from two to four lanes in western Iowa received a federal grant of $451, 290 Wednesday.
Click the link to read the entire article:

Iowa DOT Commission Approves New Five Year Plan

At their meeting in Coralville on June 10, 2008, the Iowa DOT Commission approved the Draft Five Year Transportation Improvement Plan which includes very good news for four-lane US 20 in western Iowa. As a result of this commitment, US 20 will be four-lane from Dubuque to Sac City by 2012.

In addition, the DOT Commission will begin consideration of how to program additional revenues expected to be generated by Iowa's TIME 21 legislation. By legislative directive, these funds are to be programmed with priority given to Access Iowa Highways session law which states all cities of 20,000 or greater population be connected by four-lane highways. Fort Dodge and Sioux City are the only two cities meeting this description that aren't connected by a four-lane highway. TIME 21 further gives priority to serving Iowa's emerging biofuels production industry which also favors four-lane US 20.

This chart details four-lane US 20 projects programmed in the new Five Year Plan.

Group expects more money for 20
State foresees TIME-21 plan increasing funds for roads

By BILL SHEA, Messenger staff writer
POSTED: May 10, 2008

A group pushing for a four-lane U.S. Highway 20 all across Iowa has high hopes for a new multiyear construction plan now being drafted.

That's because talks with state transportation officials have indicated that there will be more money than expected for road projects.

Neil Volmer, director of planning and programming for the Iowa Department of Transportation, said Friday afternoon that the new TIME-21 law will be the source of that money. He didn't have an estimate of how much new money would be available for the 2009-2013 plan.

Legislators have said the law would raise $160 million over 10 years for state, city and county roads. The law increased vehicle registration and drivers' license fees. TIME-21 stands for Transportation Investment Moves the Economy for the 21st Century.

For the rest of the article, click this link:

Grundy County campground inches closer to completion

DIKE --- The groups of fishermen gathered along the shores of the Grundy County Lake may be getting some more company this summer.

A proposed 64-site campground yards away from the lake is finally moving toward completion after years of delays. Grundy County Conservation Board officials expect the grounds to be open by August, barring any more delays from the weather.

"This whole thing is exciting for our program," said Kevin Williams, conservation board director.

The 255-acre lake park was created as a by-product of the expansion of U.S. Highway 20. The Iowa Department of Transportation deeded the land to the conservation board in 2000. Since then, the board has been at work expanding the park and rounding out the rest of the amenities.

For the rest of the article, click this link:

Saturday, May 10, 2008 6:25 AM CDT
Heartland Acres celebrates first year of success

INDEPENDENCE --- One at a time, the group of Independence second-graders gripped a wooden handle and tried to spin the big stone slab.

White powder and yellow corn shells poured out of the circular grindmill as the students learned a little more about what goes into making cornbread.

"Take your turn. Better get your muscles going," said Leanne Harrison, assistant program director at Heartland Acres Agribition Center.

"It's hard," one of the students replied.

The second-grade class toured Heartland Monday, the latest addition of more than 30,000 people to visit the site and its attached convention center next door. Heartland celebrates its first anniversary this month.

A large map on the wall is marked with white dots on the various places from which those folks have visited.

Forty-six states are marked so far, including Hawaii and Alaska. There are also pins in places like Finland, Australia, Fiji, Namibia and Brazil. The list goes on.

For the rest of the article, click this link:

Governor Culver Signs Bill Aimed At Securing Iowa's Transportation Future
DES MOINES - Today, Governor Chet Culver signed Senate File 2420, which will secure new funding for Iowa's transportation system.

"As Governor, one of my top priorities has been to build on Iowa's strengths in education, manufacturing and agriculture and financial services to create jobs in every corner of the state," said Governor Culver. "The good news is the jobs are coming, but we must have the infrastructure in place to keep pace and grow our economy. Today, we're taking another essential step toward doing just that."

Senate File 2420 was based on the recommendations of the Transportation Moves the Economy in the 21st Century (TIME-21) Commission, which were presented last year. The commission was created following a Department of Transportation study that showed Iowa would be $28 billion short of the projected $67 billion needed to modernize Iowa's transportation infrastructure.

The new legislation increases registration and title fees on vehicles beginning on January 1, 2009. However, the fee increase will not affect current pick-up truck owners in Iowa.

SF 2420 is projected to raise more than $160 million a year by 2013. Collected fees will be deposited in the TIME-21 Fund, which was created last year. 60% of these dollars will be used to fund primary roads, with another 20% used for secondary roads, and the final 20% to be used by city governments to fund road projects on the local level.

• FACT: Establishes a dedicated funding mechanism for the TIME-21 fund, with 60% of revenue distributed to primary roads, 20% for secondary roads, and 20% for local governments.

• FACT: Constitutionally protects registration fees for Iowans, ensuring these dollars will be used to fund the construction, maintenance, and supervision of public roads and highways.

• FACT: Current pick-up truck owners will not be affected by the legislation and their fees will remain at the current level.

• FACT: Will not raise Iowa's Gas Tax.

• FACT: Is projected to raise more than $160 million a year by Fiscal Year 2013 for Iowa's roads and transportation infrastructure.

US 20 work in Calhoun and Webster Counties begins
The Iowa Department of Transportation's Cherokee Construction Office has approved work to resume on four existing projects and begin on two new projects in Calhoun County to set a new alignment for U.S. 20. Work will include grading from Zearing Ave. (approximately two miles east of Knerim) west 12.7 miles.

The six separate projects, being accomplished by four contractors, will be underway as weather permits. The contractors working in this area are Kevin Kent Construction, Steger Construction, C.J. Moyna and Sons and Mathers Construction. The combined total for all bids was nearly $13 million.

The construction project is not expected to have a major impact on traffic, but motorists are urged to use caution with increased truck traffic and construction equipment present in this area.

New DOT Commission Nominees Named
Governor Chet Culver nominated two prospective candidates to the Iowa DOT Commission on March 17, 2008.

Debi Durham, president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce since 1995, also serves as President of The Siouxland Initiative, the economic development corporation serving the tri-state metropolitan area, and the Siouxland Chamber Foundation.

Debi currently serves on the Chamber Alliance Board of Directors, Iowa Regional Workforce Investment Board, Iowa Women in Public Policy Board, Orpheum Theatre Preservation Board of Directors, Girls, Inc. Board of Directors, and is on the Executive Committee for the Sioux City Events Center Project. Debi was named to the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame in 2003.

Durham holds a degree in business administration, marketing and management from Missouri Southern State University. She and her husband, Joel, are the parents of two children and active in church activities as well.

Amy L. Reasner is an attorney at Lynch Dallas, P.C. in Cedar Rapids where she practices in the areas of business and commercial litigation, insurance defense, collective bargaining, contract administration and labor arbitration, employment counseling and risk avoidance, employment litigation, ERISA litigation, OSHA compliance and enforcement, trade secret and non-competition, and family law.

Amy is a graduate of the University of Iowa Law School. She participated in the Moot Court Board as editor and received the Iowa Bar Association Graduating Senior Award. In Cedar Rapids, she was part of the 2005-2006 Leadership for Five Seasons program of the Chamber of Commerce. Amy was recognized as one of the 40 under 40 Community Leaders in 2007 by the Corridor Business Journal. She was previously a broadcast journalist in Cedar Rapids as well.

Other associations Amy has been involved in include Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa, Linn County Trails Association, Iowa Legal Aid, Junior League, Rotary Club, and League of Women Voters.

Suzan Boden of Sioux City and Barbara MacGregor of Mason City are concluding their final term on the Iowa DOT Commission.
Congressionally Directed Funding Requests Submitted
The US 20 Corridor Association has been working with Members of Congress from Iowa on Congressionally Directed Funding Requests over the last two weeks. Formerly known as earmark requests, these applications have been sent through Senator Grassley, Senator Harkin, and Congressman King's offices. The requests are for funds to assist with construction activities along the two-lane section of US 20 in Webster, Calhoun, Sac, Ida, and Woodbury Counties.
Grade Four, Pave Four Effort for Webster and Calhoun
At a meeting with representatives of the US 20 Association and Siouxland Chamber on March 7, Iowa DOT Director Nancy Richardson told the group the Commission was hoping to find $10 million additional in the upcoming Five Year Plan to pave all four lanes of relocated US 20 from Moorland to Iowa Highway 4 near Rockwell City. Initial plans were for all four lanes to be graded but only two paved in the current plan. The Director, Commissioners, and staff realize the efficiencies of paving all four graded lanes immediately.
Rich Michaelis Retired - Tony Lazarowicz, P.E Named District 3 Engineer
Rich Michaelis recently retired from the Iowa DOT where he served as District 3 Engineer based in Sioux City. In that role, Rich had significant responsibility in the four-lane US 20 project in western Iowa. Tony Lazarowicz has been named to succeed Rich. Tony has been an assistant engineer in the District 3 office and is very familiar with our project and the US 20 Corridor Association. Tony attended our last US 20 Association meeting where we welcomed him and told him we look forward to working with him on the completion of this project.

Shirley Phillips
712-830-6768 - cell

Bob Singer,
first vice president

Mary Gross,
vice president

Sharon Ann Irwin,

V.H. "Buck" Boekelman,
chairman emeritus

NOTE: The Newsletter, Membership, Contact Us, and Retreat Information sections are printable documents in the Adobe Acrobat format and they will open in a new window. When you are finished with those pages, just close them to return here.