Highway Page Updates — 2005 (July-December)
- After a stop in Dubuque during my recent Christmas road trip to eastern Iowa, I was able to find opening dates for the Dubuque-Wisconsin Bridge and the US 52/61/151 expressway based on Telegraph-Herald articles. I also found the designation month for IA 32 and added a link to the city of Dubuque's Southwest Arterial page from that listing.
- I also updated the US 20 west, US 61, and I-380 exit lists based on signage changes that I found on that trip. Also, the westbound exit ramp to East 14th/15th Street from I-235 has reopened, with yet another new exit number: Exit 9.
December 21: Lots of updates based on recent research findings:
- A lot of opening dates have been added to the US 20 listing, thanks to Jeff Morrison's research in the Correctionville News (Moville through Cushing), the Fort Dodge Messenger (County Road P59 to IA 17), the Webster City Freeman-Journal (the two segments from IA 17 to US 69), the Iowa Falls Times-Citizen (the four-lane segment from I-35 to US 65), and the Waterloo Courier (US 63 to IA 21), and my research in the Dyersville Commercial (IA 38 to Dubuque, which opened in more than one phase). Also, Dennis Swanson noted that the freeway segment from IA 187 to IA 13 was signed as IA 520 before US 20 traffic was rerouted onto it. In addition, a two-lane bypass was built sometime in 1981 between the former IA 248 and IA 150 to route truck traffic away from Independence (this is the segment that appears on the 1983 transportation map as a completed freeway segment).
- But that's not all — Jeff also found opening dates for:
- US 6 from US 63 to Brooklyn (Grinnell Herald-Register and Brooklyn Chronicle); old US 6 was still used as a truck route for over a year, and IA 398 was created when the segment east of Brooklyn opened.
- US 18 around Marquette and McGregor (North Iowa Times, McGregor), as well as an opening month for the segment from Wesley to Britt and the creation of IA 424 (Britt News-Tribune and Mason City Globe-Gazette)
- US 63 around Denver (Denver Forum) and from Ottumwa to Bloomfield (Bloomfield Democrat)
- US 218 from Waverly to Janesville (Bremer County Independent of Waverly)
- I found the opening date for US 61 in Muscatine from the Muscatine Journal, and noted that the segment from De Witt to Maquoketa opened in two phases in 1996, but was unable to find exact dates for either segment after searching through the De Witt Observer and Maquoketa Sentinel-Press.
- Photo Gallery update: I replaced two photos and added one photo to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls page, replaced some photos on the Quad Cities page, and replaced two photos on the Burlington page with new ones from my Thanksgiving-eve trip.
- It turns out that US 20 opened from IA 297 to IA 150 in 1983, despite the 1983 state transportation map showing a short completed segment west of Independence. (Jeff Morrison confirmed this through the Independence Conservative of August 30, 1983.) It also opened from IA 21 to IA 297 on the same day as the piece of I-380 in Waterloo opened. While on the subject of US 20: an article from the Fort Dodge Messenger notes that the DOT only plans to build two lanes on a four-lane right-of-way between IA 4 and Moorland right away. Two DOT press releases — one regarding tomorrow's meeting in Fort Dodge and another regarding a December 14 meeting in Rockwell City — give more details on the project.
- Recent snow and cold weather have delayed another four-lane highway. US 34 from Fairfield to Mount Pleasant will not open until next spring, as The Hawk Eye (Burlington) reports that construction crews have gone home for the winter.
- However, two interchanges on I-235 — 31st Street and 56th Street — reopened today.
- Here is the first Photo Gallery update in a while: I have updated the Dubuque page with seven new or replaced photos from my July 31 trip there. Additional updates are coming soon.
- Some more research findings from Jeff Morrison:
- US 20 was relocated between Waterloo and Jesup on September 19, 1958, according to the Waterloo Courier. This also affected IA 281; however, despite what the 1958 state highway map says, US 20 did not replace any part of IA 297.
- The US 20 freeway between IA 187 and IA 38 opened in one piece on November 15, 1974, according to the Manchester Democrat-Radio; despite what the 1972-1974 state highway maps showed, the freeway segment from IA 187 to IA 13 was not open to traffic during that time. I took the next step and found the opening date for the IA 150-IA 187 segment in the Independence Bulletin-Journal: July 20, 1979.
- Most of the four-lane US 61 between Dubuque and the airport opened to four lanes at the same time that the realigned segment from Zwingle to Maquoketa did, according to the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, but a one-mile segment near the present-day interchange with US 151 did not open until sometime in 1968.
- According to a 1957 atlas of county maps at the State Historical Building, IA 411's south end was actually at the north city limits of Marengo, making it an isolated state highway that served as little more than an Iowa River bridge.
- Also, the four-lane US 75 between Le Mars and Sioux City opened in two phases during the 1950s (the exact years are unknown at this point).
- After driving through southeast Iowa on the day before Thanksgiving, I made a few updates to the US 34 highway listing and the IA 163/US 63, US 34, and US 218 south exit lists. (Ed Breed provided speed limit data for segments of US 218 that I did not drive on this trip.)
- The last segment of the Avenue of the Saints (US 218/IA 27) in Lee County will not open this month as anticipated. Bad weather has delayed the opening until the spring or summer of 2006. On the other hand, Jeff Morrison notes that an expressway segment of US 30 east of Le Grand opened on November 17. He also found the date for when US 52 was put back on its original alignment in Dubuque County as well as the opening date for the realigned US 61 between Dubuque and Maquoketa.
- I also added terminus photo links for the former IA 213 and IA 216.
- After more newspaper research, in the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald and the Dyersville Commercial, Jeff Morrison found out that an Alternate US 52 existed in Dubuque County from 1964 to 1967. This was created after US 52 replaced IA 136 north of Dyersville and followed US 20 into Dubuque in late 1963, resulting in protests from Dubuque businesses. He also found opening dates for the two US 20 segments from IA 136 to Dubuque and from IA 38 to IA 136.
- I updated the I-235 exit list again: the eastbound Keo Way exit has closed, and six lanes of through traffic are open on I-235 west of the Martin Luther King Parkway exit. (The segment between 63rd and MLK will eventually be eight lanes, but probably not until the 31st and 56th Street exits reopen next month.) Also, I-80 exit #143 has reopened.
November 17: Several readers have pointed out that US 34 opened around Danville and Middletown on Tuesday. There is still a one-mile gap northwest of Danville that isn't likely to open until the spring of 2006. I also updated the US 34 exit list after Mark Odor gave me information on the two new interchanges.
- Jeff Morrison found a few more US 30 opening dates after newspaper research, particularly the Nevada Journal for US 30 between Ames and Marshalltown, the Ogden Reporter for the expressway segment in Boone County, and the Wheatland Gazette for the two-lane segment in Cedar and Clinton counties. (He was unable to find a date for the relocated US 30 in Marshalltown after looking through Times-Republican issues, or for the US 30 bypass of Ames after looking through the Tribune.) The Nevada Journal also noted that IA 133 (II) was created as a direct result of US 30's relocation. Meanwhile, the Northwest Arterial (IA 32) in Dubuque was widened to four lanes on September 20, 1997 (after looking through the Telegraph-Herald's online archives at Newsbank, which is accessible to Des Moines Library cardholders on their website), and the Southwest Arterial has been left off the current transportation plan.
- More signs with new exit numbers have been put up on I-235 west of the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway exit, so I updated the exit list to reflect that.
- New page: Highways of Cedar Rapids, which is similar in format to the Highways of Des Moines page. While at it I updated some of the route listings for roads in the Cedar Rapids area to reflect research findings over the last few weeks.
- The 2006-2010 state transportation plan was approved by the Transportation Commission today, so any references to the "draft" plan on highways that were updated on October 9 were removed.
- More research findings: Jeff Morrison found the opening dates for the two segments of relocated US 30 between Ralston and Jefferson, while Mark Odor found the date when the southern half of IA 438 in Mount Pleasant was transferred.
- Another Des Moines county road has changed to match the traditional county road numbering system: Kurt Berge found out that the County Road 99 (formerly IA 99) trailblazers in Burlington have been changed to County Road X99.
- Jeff Morrison looked through microfilm of the Belle Plaine Union and the Marengo Pioneer-Republican to find the decommissioning date of IA 73 (I), the designation date of the present IA 21, and the extension and truncation dates of IA 212. He also found the date that the relocated Army Post Road (IA 5 at the time) opened in Des Moines, and while at it I also tweaked with the maps on the Des Moines page by using a darker shade of gray for city names and some roads (the lighter shade that I used earlier appeared too bright on some monitors).
- I updated the I-235 exit list to reflect recent ramp closings and signage changes. On Friday a new sign for the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway exit was put up on eastbound I-235, calling this Exit 7A – proof that I-235 will get exit numbers as part of the reconstruction project. (As of now, this is the only new exit number, but the list will be updated as more signs are put up).
- For the first time in a few years, the Iowa DOT has released a draft five-year transportation plan covering the years 2006 through 2010 (available here) after the federal SAFETEA-LU transportation funding program was passed. With that comes these updates:
The Transportation Commission will vote on the new plan on November 1.
- Plans to build a new four-lane US 20 between IA 4 north of Rockwell City and Moorland are part of the new plan, and right of way acquisition between US 71 and IA 4 is also in the plan but no other segments are expected to be graded or paved.
- Funds to widen and improve I-29 and I-80 in Council Bluffs, I-29 in Sioux City, and I-80 in Iowa City are also part of the plan.
- Also on the plan: the US 61 bypass of Fort Madison, US 30 from US 65 to State Center and around Tama and Toledo, and US 63 between US 18/IA 346 and IA 188.
- Among the projects not on the plan: the IA 100 extension in Cedar Rapids.
- The DOT has also launched a new website, www.iowainterstate50th.com, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Interstate Highway System in 2006. This site includes a map that shows opening dates for every Interstate highway segment in Iowa through 1981, and as such I updated the I-29, I-35, I-74, and I-80 listings to list opening dates for segments that I hadn't already found through newspaper research.
- Speaking of newspaper research: Jeff Morrison and I have taken trips to the State Historical Building during the past week and did some more research. Jeff found out that the relocation of US 30 in Tama County opened September 25, 1954 (from the Toledo Chronicle), the I-29 bridge into South Dakota opened to traffic December 15, 1961 (from the Sioux City Journal), and IA 58 was extended into Cedar Falls on March 26, 1935 (from the Waterloo Courier). I found out that the US 30/IA 150 cut-off from Cedar Rapids to Lisbon opened November 10, 1953 (from the Cedar Rapids Gazette and Mount Vernon Hawkeye-Record/Lisbon Herald), and IA 150 replaced the former IA 94 (I) from Marion to Mount Vernon in November 1958 (from the Hawkeye-Record/Herald and the Marion Sentinel).
- Mark Odor reports that County Road 79 (formerly IA 79 (II)) is no longer signed that way, and it is now signed as County Road J20 – which was what IA 79 was called before 1980.
- Jeff Morrison put up new highway history pages for Sioux City and Council Bluffs on his Iowa Geography Page, which are linked from the front page. I am planning to launch a similar page for Cedar Rapids, which will be similar in format to the Des Moines page, sometime this fall.
- I made a couple of minor updates to the IA 12 and US 77 listings.
- Two exits are closed for the next few months on I-235, so I updated that exit list.
- More newspaper research at the State Historical Building yesterday yielded the following findings:
- IA 73 (II) replaced IA 21 (I) in April 1934. There was a push to get this road onto the US highway system, and Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota agreed to a common state highway 73 before AASHTO decided to add it to the US highway system — as US 59. (Harlan Tribune)
- US 69 replaced the remainder of IA 15 (I) in May 1935. (Forest City Summit and Ames Daily Tribune-Times)
- IA 141 replaced IA 46 (I) and IA 89 (I) on April 1, 1941. (Coon Rapids Enterprise)
- IA 150 replaced IA 11 and IA 74 (I) in September 1941 (Fayette County Union, West Union; the Tipton Conservative on June 12 reported that this would, incorrectly, be an extension of US 150.)
- The IA 163 bypass of Pella opened October 17, 1994. (Pella Chronicle)
- I also updated the US 30 Marshalltown (speed limit change reported by Jeff Morrison) and US 65/IA 5 (new signage at exit 99) exit lists.
September 12: Mark Odor reported that Business US 218 in Mount Pleasant (but not Business US 34) is now signed at US 218 exit 42B. Signage of both business routes along the roads themselves is still sparse at this point.
August 31: Another four-lane road has opened in southeast Iowa: Brian McMillin mentioned that a four-lane segment of US 34 was scheduled to open yesterday, per Monday's Ottumwa Courier.
- Only one more segment remains before the Avenue of the Saints is completed in Iowa. The 10 miles of IA 27 between the split with US 218 and the Iowa/Missouri border opened to four lanes on Thursday. This leaves the 9 miles between IA 16 and IA 2 north of Donnellson as the last remaining two-lane segment. After some correspondence with Brian Stains, who drove this route yesterday, I updated both the US 218 and IA 27 listings to note that the four-lane road ends at IA 16, not the Henry/Lee county line as I was previously told.
- I also made some minor updates to the I-35, I-235, and US 218 south exit lists.
- As several readers have pointed out to me, the US 34 bypass of Mount Pleasant opened on Monday. Mark Odor was able to provide me with an exit list, which is here as I have extended the current US 34 list westward and added the two interchanges that are under construction near Danville and Middletown. Brian Stains also let me know that the speed limit is 65 MPH on the bypass. (Note: I have been told that some of the signs along US 34 that had green space when they were put up in 2001 still have green space, but the exit lists reflect what the signs will eventually say.) And not only is there a Business US 34 in Mount Pleasant now, there apparently is a Business US 218 as well — but both roads are sparsely signed at this point.
- More updates from reader mail: Dave Wolz mentioned that County Road J12 is the only "J" road in Clarke County instead of Decatur County, and Dennis Swanson mentioned that the former IA 334 was straightened as a result of its paving (the old gravel alignment is still gravel today).
- I also updated the I-235 exit list to reflect recent ramp openings and closings; the eastbound East University Avenue exit reopened just in time for the Iowa State Fair.
- After another trip to the State Historical Society last week, I was able to find years for most of the gaps that I had in the paving history sections of the route listings. I also found out that IA 86 (II) in Burlington made it onto one state highway map (1945) and was extended before it was decommissioned.
- After a trip to the Quad Cities and Dubuque last weekend, I updated the I-80 central Iowa and eastern Iowa, I-74, I-280, US 20 east, US 61, and US 151 exit lists to reflect signage changes.
- Freeway Junctions updates: Minor sign changes at I-35 southbound Exit 190 (spotted by Jeff Morrison) and at I-35/80 Exit 131.
- On that same trip, Jeff found something that I thought I'd never hear about in a million years: a business county road! Business County Road S56 exists in Ackley, and I made a note of that on the County Roads page. I also added links to his new terminus photo pages for I-129 and US 77.
- On the Scenic and Historic Routes page, I updated the Mormon Trail Auto Tour Route section to show the route in the Council Bluffs area and in Decatur County that is shown on the 2005 state transportation map.
- A short four-lane segment of US 20 opened west of Fort Dodge last week (either on Thursday or Friday). In other news, work to correct the curve on the US 34 bypass of Mount Pleasant has begun, delaying the opening of that road to September.
- At Freeway Junctions, the I-235 list was updated to reflect a few ramp reopenings. Updates were also made to the US 20 west and US 218/Avenue of the Saints south list to reflect recent four-lane segment openings.
- With the recent speed limit change to 70 MPH on Iowa's rural Interstates, I updated the exit lists for I-35 (north, central, and south), I-80 (central and east), and I-380 to show which sections are now posted with the higher limit. Other changes were made to the US 151 (there is finally a stoplight at the intersection with IA 13) and Avenue of the Saints north lists based on a road trip I took up there on July 1 and 2.
- Some new four-lane roads have opened: Jeff Morrison found out that US 30 between Marshalltown and Le Grand has been widened, and Jay Lehmann noted that US 218/IA 27 is now four lanes from Mount Pleasant to the Henry/Lee county line.
- I also did a little research at the State Historical Building and found the opening months for the IA 2 expressway west of I-29 (from the Hamburg Reporter) and the IA 5/92 freeway around Knoxville (from the Knoxville Journal). I also added a link to Jeff Morrison's new Waterloo/Cedar Falls highway page from the main page and a link to his Iowa geography page from the Links page.
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© 2005 by Jason Hancock