I-Jobs in Dubuque; SW arterial project moves forward - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

I-Jobs in Dubuque; SW arterial project moves forward

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - The funding for this project is connected to I-Jobs; a plan to create more jobs in Iowa. Tuesday Governor Culver visited Dubuque to announce the city will receive $860,000 in addition to the almost $18 million from the Department of Transportation.

The proposed Southwest Arterial would start at Highway 20 and seippel road and end at Highway 61, avoiding the drive through southern Dubuque, something many say is long overdue.

"What I have to do is back into this driveway so all I gotta do is look up and down and take off," said Bob Willis, who lives on Rockdale road in Dubuque.

Hundreds of cars pass by Willis's house everyday.

"Cause if I back out, all I can hear is tires squealing, where somebody is trying to stop," said Willis.

Rockdale road is traveled by many people. They use it to get from highway 61 to highway 20; rockdale road connects to Kelly lane.

"Right now kelly lane is serving as our southwest arterial. A lot of traffic on that road and that's a residential neighborhood," said Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol.

And it's neighborhoods like Willis' this that inspired the southwest arterial; a bypass connecting the two industrial parks in Dubuque.

"As we speak we are in final design and the acquiring process for the southwest arterial," said Buol.

Tuesday Governor Chet Culver visited Dubuque announcing more funding for more jobs on the project.

"It's a huge investment in Dubuque's future and the exciting thing about this is it will benefit 25 small businesses," said Culver.

The $860,000 will create 600 jobs in Dubuque and move the project in the right direction. Perhaps the biggest benefit: a safer, more efficient route for trucks to pass through Dubuque.

"They'll be able to get on the arterial now and bypass the downtown area and our neighborhoods and get to 61 and 151," said Buol.

It's a project that Willis looks thinks is vital. So he doesn't have to back into his driveway every time he comes home.

One other concern Willis has about traffic along rockdale road and kelly lane, the speed. He says many cars drive over the speed limit making it very unsafe for children. As for the southwest arterial project - city officials say construction is set to begin in 2010. The Iowa DOT is providing $17.8 million for an interchange at seippel road and highway 20.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires
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