Progress continues, including utility, design, and streetscape planning, as Sioux Center moves toward the redesign and reconstruction of Highway 75, changing the aging roadway into an enhanced four-lane roadway with a center lane for turning and medians.
The project was placed on the Iowa Department of Transportation’s five-year improvement plan last summer, and since then city staff has been working with the DOT on the formal contract for the work. This week, the City Council approved the DOT contract, which highlights the $20,250,000 the DOT has allocated for this project and confirms Sioux Center’s local voice in designing the improvements.
“With this project, we have been given an opportunity to take the big-picture view and design a roadway that is not just about getting highway traffic through town. We get to start from the ground up on designing a safe roadway that reflects Sioux Center and where we are going in the next 40 years,” said Murray Hulstein, Sioux Center Utilities Manager.
During and leading up to the reconstruction of the highway, aging water and wastewater utilities under and along the highway will be replaced and reset to serve the community for the coming decades.
- The existing water main will be replaced with two PVC 8-inch water mains running parallel along the east and west side of the highway, and the city will install new service connections to each property line. Parallel mains allow for better reliability and keeps mains and services out from the pavement for ease of maintenance. The new mains will also provide an increase in fire protection.
- Rather than repair and update the existing aging wastewater main, the council approved replacing it with a new main that will provide long term reliability and help avoid repairs that require digging under the highway. New service lines are also planned up to each property line along the project.
- Electrical improvements will include new streetlights, coordinating with streetscape planning.
Streetscape planning drawing on local input is ongoing with the planning and design firm Confluence. Recently, Confluence staff met with a local steering committee representing business people, highway property owners, the Sioux Center Trails Council, the City and the Chamber. This group identified key priorities/concerns, including safety, aesthetics, improved pedestrian and bicycle crossings, efficient movement of traffic, and long-term impact. Confluence will share this feedback with the highway engineering design team and will use it to start shaping a concept for the streetscape. Confluence is working toward bringing a draft streetscape concept to the wider community for feedback.