Highway 281 detour concerns Waterloo business owners - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Highway 281 detour concerns Waterloo business owners


Plans are in the works to overhaul a highway in Black Hawk County that some say is just too narrow.

Work on Highway 281 east of the Waterloo city limits stretching to N. Canfield Rd. is set for next summer.

The Iowa Department of Transportation plans to use a route beginning at Idaho St. in Waterloo, continuing on Dubuque Rd. before turning north on Canfield Rd. The Department of Transportation says it will widen Highway 281 by 6 feet plus have 1 foot of paved shoulder next to each lane.

The project is estimated to cost $3 million with construction set for next summer.

The detour would close Independence Ave. in Waterloo to thru traffic for about a mile on the eastern edge of the city.

Some business owners along Independence are afraid the detour will permanently detour customers.

"My concern is if they find an alternate route back at the Idaho area, my concern might be they do that permanently and that could affect my walk-in traffic, absolutely," business owner Heidi Tietz De Silva said.

"They came to us with the detour request and thought it would be OK to use those roads. They were trying, I believe, to get the shortest route," said City Engineer Eric Thorson.

City officials say they just learned about the project last week.

The Waterloo City Council approved the detour route at its meeting Monday night.

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