Preliminary concept drawing of Highway 75 improvement idea: Perspective view at 6th Street S looking south. The Sioux Center City Council discussed the need to enhance the community’s Highway 75 corridor Tuesday. Council members and city staff noted as Sioux Center grows, the three-lane Highway 75 is no longer going to efficiently facilitate traffic flow in and through the community. At the same time, much of the highway’s pavement through town is aging, and the Iowa Department of Transportation is looking toward replacing it. This creates an opportunity to look at highway improvement differently – not simply as a widening project, but as reconstruction that could help build on Sioux Center’s image as a welcoming, safe and thriving community. Council members discussed the public desire for highway improvement that emphasizes safety for pedestrians and features aesthetic and natural elements. “We are committed to a safe, functional and attractive highway corridor,” said Mayor Dennis Walstra. The council looked at pedestrian-friendly concept drawings suggesting four lanes of travel with landscaped medians and an option for a center turning lane. Medians add color, calm traffic, and create a safe zone for pedestrians crossing the street. They can also decrease the number of conflict points where traffic is turning and reduce the number of serious accidents. The concept drawings are only in the idea phase. Council members are considering how the highway can best serve the community today and 30 years or more from today, the anticipated lifespan of the road design. DOT representatives have indicated their desire to not only replace pavement from about 12th Street North to 12th Street South, but to also continue south of 12th Street South to replace the old highway pavement. The enhancement work could extend as far as 20th Street South, and safety features could be added to that 20th Street South intersection. For a Highway 75 enhancement project to move forward, the city will need to meet with the DOT commission to request that it be placed on the DOT's five-year construction plan. The council plans to continue its discussion of improving Highway 75 at future meetings. The city will seek public input throughout the design process.
Preliminary concept drawing of Highway 75 improvement idea: Overview between 9th Street S and 5th Street S.