Highway Page Updates — 2015
December 30: The opportunities for updating this site have become few and far between due to a busy personal life, but here are some exit list updates based on recent travels and reader reports:
- I-29 south: According to a December 3 e-mail from Dan Drackley, new signage has been placed along northbound I-29 approaching Exit 47 (US 275/IA 92). (While some of the old signage may not have been replaced yet due to the ongoing reconstruction work in the area, signage plans in the Iowa DOT document library note that similar signs will eventually be placed for southbound traffic.)
- I-80 east: The welcome center at the eastbound-only rest area entering Illinois has closed (or, at the very least, is no longer signed as such). Also, the off-track wagering facility at Exit 4 has also closed.
- Avenue of the Saints north: The Southwest Industrial Park in Charles City is signed for northbound traffic at Exit 218; it is still signed at Exit 216 for southbound traffic.
December 1: The first diverging diamond interchange in Iowa, I-80 exit 118 at Grand Prairie Parkway in Waukee, opened today. I updated the I-80 west exit list to reflect this.
September 8: Two quick exit list updates:
- It turns out that the University of Iowa was unofficially known as Iowa State University before the educational institution in Ames adopted that name in 1959 (for more on the naming history of Iowa's three state universities, check out this article). What does this have to do with the site, you ask? I have removed the "erroneous" from the Highways of Iowa City page after Tim Weitzel brought this to my attention.
- Per Jeff Morrison, the original alignment of IA 40 (I) followed a series of gravel roads between St. Ansgar and Osage before being realigned along US 218's present route in 1920. The old route north of Mitchell remains gravel today and most of the old alignment is still known as the Red Ball Road.
- I added the Watta Way in Pottawattamie County to the Scenic and Historic Routes page, based on information from their website.
- Exit list updates:
- I-29 north: New signage at Exit 141 in Sergeant Bluff omits County Road D38 and switches the order of the two destinations.
- I-74 Quad Cities: Western Illinois University's campus in Moline is now signed at Exit 2 instead of Exit 4.
- US 61: Twin Valley Drive is also signed at the signaled intersection where US 52 joins US 61/151 in Dubuque.
- After more than 50 years of planning, a four-lane US 20 between Sioux City and Dubuque is scheduled for completion by 2018. The 2016-2020 state transportation plan was approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission on June 9. The new plan calls for paving additional lanes along the remaining two-lane segments between during the 2016 fiscal year, with paving of the remaining segment between Adams Avenue and US 71 scheduled for the 2017 fiscal year. This is in addition to the ongoing work between Moville and Correctionville.
- Two other expressway projects have been added to the five-year plan: US 30 between Tama and IA 21, and US 61 from just south of Mediapolis to Burlington.
- Plans are also in place to remove the remaining intersections along the Avenue of the Saints (US 218/IA 27/IA 58) between Waverly and US 20. However, aside from the work that is underway at County Road C57, only the Viking Road interchange in Cedar Falls is in the five-year plan for construction in 2017. Links to project pages, where appropriate, have been added for each listing.
- Exit list updates:
- I-35 is now six lanes north of mile marker 67, just south of the Warren/Polk county line.
- US 20 east: Work has begun on a new interchange at County Road X49 in Dyersville that is expected to open by the end of 2016. (The exit number and signage information came from the plan documents posted in the Iowa DOT Letting Documents page for May 2015, project number NHSX-020-9(205)--3H-28.)
- After Jeff Morrison brought this to my attention, I updated the paving history for US 32 based on the maps in the Iowa DOT's historical map collection.
- Exit list updates:
- I-35 south: I-35 is now six lanes between the Raccoon River crossing and I-80/235 in West Des Moines as of mid-May. (Work is still in progress near the interchange with IA 5.)
- I-35 north: The welcome center in Dows is no longer signed at Exit 159 as of last week.
- I-380: IA 27 is now signed southbound at the interchange with US 20 in Waterloo.
- Avenue of the Saints north: The North Industrial Park in Cedar Falls is now on the main sign at US 218 exit 189.
- IA 5 Des Moines: Brown's Woods Preserve is now signed at Exit 101.
- US 30 Cedar Rapids: New signs at the interchange with I-380 include the airport on the same sign as the destination of Iowa City.
- US 218 Waterloo: The John Deere Museum is now signed at Exit 181B. (Although it is only signed northbound due to space limitations, drivers can use Exit 181 southbound to access it.)
- After driving through the area today, I confirmed that IA 152 north of Osceola is no longer signed. While the Transportation Commission approved the transfer of jurisdiction last June, signs along IA 152 were removed between March 30 and today, so I will recognize April as the month of decommissioning. It has been replaced with its pre-1980 designation of County Road R35, but the only signage at this point is along I-35.
- While updating the table of active highways to remove IA 152, I discovered that IA 316 was 5.8 miles long instead of 5.2 since the posted north end is at the east city limits of Runnells instead of Vandalia Road. However, IA 192 is 5.2 miles long as well, so that highway is now the tenth-shortest in Iowa. (At 1.4 miles, IA 152 was fifth-shortest in the state, a spot now occupied by IA 333.)
- Exit list updates:
- I-80 western Iowa: The rest area near mile marker 119 closed on April 1 to make room for the new Grand Prairie Parkway interchange.
- Avenue of the Saints south: Denmark has replaced "To US 61" as a destination for IA 16 at US 218/IA 27.
- I-74 Illinois: I extended the list eastward to the north junction of I-55 in Normal, IL, after having a chance to field-check this section recently.
- In the wake of the gas tax increase signed into law by Gov. Branstad last month, the Transportation Commission approved an amendment to the current five-year plan on March 10 that provides additional funding for several projects for the 2015 fiscal year. One of those projects is right-of-way acquisition for the four-laning of US 20 between Correctionville and the existing four-lane segment near Holstein. Per this story from KTIV in Sioux City, the US 20 expressway could be completed by the end of 2018, although plans for future upgrades will not be officially scheduled (or added to this site) until the next five-year plan is approved in June.
- Per this news release from the Iowa DOT, work on the new interchange of US 218/IA 27 and County Road C57 is scheduled to begin around April 1. (The remaining intersections between Janesville and Cedar Falls will be removed as part of this project.) I have added this to the exit list; signage information and the exit number of 192 were obtained from plans posted to the Iowa DOT document library.
- The new rest areas on I-35 near mile marker 99 are open as of today.
- I caught up on my Photo Gallery backlog and now have posted over 1,700 photos to the Gallery. One change I made recently was removing the road trip albums; since I am constantly replacing photos whenever signs are replaced or I get a better-quality photo, it was extra work to have to remove photos from one road trip gallery and add it to another. Out-of-state photos are now posted in albums sorted by state. The complete list of albums on Flickr is here.
- A couple of updates based on research findings by Jeff Morrison:
- The freeway segment of US 20 between I-29 and Lakeport Street in Sioux City did not coincide with I-129; it actually opened December 10, 1976, per a Des Moines Register article from that day. (However, US 20 was not relocated until the rest of the bypass opened in 1979.)
- Based on signage plans, the relocation of IA 141 away from Sioux City toward Sloan coincided with the opening of the segment of I-29 between Sloan and Onawa on October 26, 1961.
- Exit list updates:
- I-29 south: The new exit for US 34 is now signed as Exits 35A to Glenwood, with Malvern being added as a secondary destination, and 35B to "South Bellevue". Also, the new exit numbers in Council Bluffs that were spotted last November have been covered up (Jeff Morrison confirmed that this was requested by local emergency services), so I have reverted to listing the old exit numbers along the multiplexed segment with I-80.
- I-29 north: With the opening of the Hard Rock Casino in downtown Sioux City last year, "Downtown" at Exit 147B has been replaced with "Casino" on the signs.
- I-35 central: The new rest areas south of Huxley have not opened as of yesterday, so I have changed the expected completion date to the spring of 2015.
- Some updates to the Highways of Des Moines page based on recent research findings:
- Per construction documents posted in the Iowa DOT document library, the realigned US 65/69 along today's Southeast 14th Street was done in 1943. The documents also included paving for part of Army Post Road, so the relocation of IA 28 and designation of the second IA 46 likely occurred at the same time.
- Per the Iowa DOT's historical map collection, the relocation of IA 163 from Grand Avenue to its current alignment on University Avenue occurred in 1945. (The change is first posted on the 1946 map.)
- Other research findings from the Sioux City area, courtesy of Jeff Morrison:
- The US 75 expressway segment between Le Mars and Merrill opened a day later than previously listed: June 25, 1957. (Source: Le Mars Globe-Post)
- The original north end of IA 230 (II) was at IA 141 instead of US 20. It was then extended westward to US 75 in 1948. (Source: state highway maps)
- IA 378 was extended eastward from US 75 to IA 230 in 1957 but truncated back to US 75 in 1965 after IA 230 was decommissioned. (Source: state highway maps)
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© 2015 by Jason Hancock