The Iowa DOT puts safety into its 5 year plan - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The Iowa DOT puts safety into its 5 year plan

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -

The Iowa Department of Transportation is moving forward with a $2.6 billion dollar budget that will overhaul some of the most dangerous roadways in eastern Iowa.

Of those funds, $1.3 billion dollars will be used to modernize and maintain existing roadways.

During the past several years, emergency crews were called numerous times to two intersections including Highway 218 and Cedar Wapsi Road, with located south of Janesville and Viking Road and Highway 58 near the industrial park in Cedar Falls. During the next five years major construction is set to take place.

The intersection of Highway 58 and Viking Road will receive a $16 million makeover. Cedar Falls city officials are currently working with engineers on what the new intersection will look like. They say it will be a raised intersection with on and off ramps. According to the Iowa DOT this project is scheduled to take place in 2017.

The Cedar Wapsi Road and Highway 218 interchange should get a similar $20 million makeover. This four year project is set to start next year. An over pass will be added along with on and off ramps.

Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson is one of the biggest advocates for the renovations as his office responded to numerous accidents at this intersection.

"The folks down in the DOT commission don't normally hear from a first responder perspective. They hear from the engineers and the planners and stuff, but when they saw pictures of fatality accidents and crushed metal, that's how I made my presentation. I said we're not talking dollars and cents, we're talking about lives," said Thompson.

Construction on the Highway 218 intersection will add a right of way, wetland mitigation, a new bridge, lighting, and traffic signs.

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