FLOYD, Iowa - It's a North Iowa intersection that sees a lot of traffic on a daily basis, and has also seen accidents and three fatalities.
This week, the Iowa DOT is talking with the public on a long-awaited project: a grade separated interchange with the Avenue of the Saints and US 218/Quarry Road, with construction set to begin in 2021.
Currently, the stretch of the Avenue of the Saints between Floyd and Charles City sees an average of over 10,000 vehicles daily, according to Iowa DOT, and is projected to grow to over 18,000 by 2038, with the intersection having two truck stops just off the highway.
Micaela Stillions lives in Charles City, and regularly commutes to Floyd. When she's had to get on the highway, she's had some close calls.
"I was trying to cross across the highway, and it was a foggy day, and somebody didn't have their lights on. I had to step on my accelerator and bust it right across the intersection, right before the car came right on me."
On the approach to Floyd, the speed limit on the Avenue slows down to 55 mph, which can catch some off guard.
"I've watched big semis cutting across and they'll be kinda slow, and I have had to stop there when they're cutting across, and I have to slow way down."
With the enhanced interchange, she hopes it can cut down on the accident rate.
"It just takes that one time...eventually, you're going to get hit here at this intersection. It happens a lot."
The Avenue will pass over US 218/Quarry Road (also known as County Road T44) on two grade-separated bridges, with extended on/off ramps. In addition, the project would remove at-grade crossings into Floyd at Liberty Street, Montgomery Street and Packard Avenue.
Near the intersection of the Avenue and Montgomery, Ron Dugan and his wife have owned and operated Dugan's Restaurant and Lounge for nearly 20 years. As the project would cut off direct access to his restaurant, it could hurt them financially, as 90% of their customers come from highway traffic.
"Normally when you're traveling, if you can see a place and fall off the highway and pull in, you're happy. If you have to go around and through a town to find it, it's not going to be a good deal."
Dugan plans to attend Tuesday's meeting, and while he agrees something needs to be done about the intersection, he feels another option may be better in order to not cut off access.
"The DOT already told me that they don't have to give us a frontage road. I built the place on a truck route. It'll put us out of business."
The meeting is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Floyd Community Center. The public is welcome to attend.
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