Safety improvements coming to Highway 150 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Safety improvements coming to Highway 150

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BENTON COUNTY (KWWL) - People are pushing for changes along an eastern Iowa highway where five people died in a crash last month.

The crash happened on April 9 at Highway 150 and Sunset St. in Benton County. Five young Iowans were killed in the accident.

The Iowa Department of Transportation says change is coming.

Ernie Jacobson and Jim Bixby started a petition following the fatal crash. They live in Benton County and attended a meeting in Des Moines Wednesday at the state capitol. Bixby and Jacobson got 1,500 signatures in their petition.

The two met with Rep. Dawn Pettengill and DOT representatives, urging for safety improvements at Highway 150 and Sunset St. In response, the DOT plans to eliminate the curve along Hwy 150 near Sunset St., and put in an intersection instead. The intersection will include stop signs and left turns lanes.

In the interim, other changes will go into effect. Steve Gent with the Iowa DOT says flashing lights and a "cross traffic does not stop" sign will be put into the area, along with a painted-in median.

Jacobson and Bixby say these changes bring a huge impact.

"The whole community, not just us, the whole community got something done."

They don't want five lives lost in vain.

"It's a shame to see them die, and to think, if we hadn't come here, they would had died for nothing," Bixby said.

The DOT says the changes in the interim period should be put in place by June 12. Gent says construction to replace the curve with the intersection will cost roughly $1.5 million, and will likely begin in August 2017.

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