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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

A Road More Traveled

Dave’s New Year’s resolution was to begin walking each day to improve his health. Living in a very rural area he often would walk for miles upon miles before returning home. One day, on a gravel road that he had not been on before, he stumbled upon a man lying on the ground with his ear to the ground.

“Are you alright? What are you doing?” the man asks but gets no answer at all.

The man doesn’t even acknowledge that he is there.

So after a bit of silence Dave asks again, “Can I help you sir?” The man replies this time. “Ford pick-up truck, blue, 18 inch rims, two passengers, female driver.”

“Wow! You can tell all that by listening to the ground!” Dave says.

“NO” The man replies with a shocked look on his face “She ran over me 10 minutes ago!”

On the topic of roads here locally, we have a large problem staring us in the face. As we all know Highway 30 is only two lanes heading east from outside Tama to Vinton. With increased traffic from Iowa Premium Beef with the rolling hills in Tama County and narrow lanes of Benton County, there are huge risks to travelers due to increased truck traffic as well as employees coming to work.

Currently all travelers driving through Benton and Tama counties are subject to great traffic risks  because coming from either direction on Highway 30, individuals have to adjust from traveling at four-lane speeds and traffic flow. Suddenly this mass of traffic is forced into two lanes creating congestions, slow-downs, and confusion.

How bad is our problem going to get? I spoke with IPB’s scheduler and this is what he was able to define for me.  On a daily basis, there will be about 43 inbound trucks loaded with cattle and will ship out an anticipated 22 refrigerated trucks of finished product.  This would also mean that there would be a similar number of unloaded trucks either leaving after delivering cattle or to pick up a load for delivery.  In total, that means there would approximately 150 truck trips, five days a week. After Phase II is completed, that number is estimated to move to a total of 250 truck trips per day! Think about that 250 x five day work week = 1,250 x 4 weeks = 5,000 per month x 12 month = 60,000 additional trucks using Highway 30.

It is time to wake up and take some action. Citizens in Tama County have been living with the uncertainty of when this project is going to take place for several years. With the stress of living with these uncertainties, we believe with IBP’s launch it is now time to alleviate these concerns.  Please write to:  Iowa Department of Transportation c/o Mr. Paul Trombino III, 800 Lincoln Way Ames, IA 50010 and request the Highway 30 extension through Benton County and Tama County be moved forward in the planning schedule.

 

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