MASON CITY, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Transportation is starting a $1.7 million Highway 65 project by taking out stoplights at Federal Ave. and 9th St. N. and reducing traffic to one lane for a portion of the day. That's something that did not go unnoticed by those who work and live near the project.
“I saw the barricades and stuff all the way to 18th street,” said Brendy Reuter.
The project will go from 9th St. N. all the way to 18th St. as the DOT work on resurfacing the road and adding new sidewalks where it is necessary. But those with businesses right at 9th street, like Steve Moore, the Owner of Short’s-Federal Fire Equipment Co., are wondering how this construction is going to impact business.
“It will probably be a little bit inconvenient for customers to get in to our parking lot,” said Moore.
The DOT is changing the road from four to three lanes. One headed north, one headed south and a central turn lane. According to the with the DOT they are making these changes because this section of road has an average of five times more crashes than the state average, something Rueter said she see all of the time.
“I have seen a couple of crash at 9th St., but over on the corner of 12th St. it is worse,” she said. “I have almost been hit a couple of times myself.”
This change could reduce the number of crashes by more than 50 percent, but Moore worries only having one lane could lead to other issues.
“Hopefully it doesn’t slow things down when it’s rush hour,” he said.
While the project may mean finding alternate routes for many until late September, both Moore and Reuter say the finished product out ways the short term issues.
“It’s kind of important for people entering our city that they immediately feel like the road system is good instead of wash boardy and bumpy,” Moore said.
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