Rolling closures and a detour route will be part of the plan for Highway 75 construction in 2024-25. Head-to-head traffic was initially planned for most of construction, but the current year’s construction, plus conversations with contractors, brought to light the challenges and safety considerations of that style of work for the rest of the project.
“What we found was it was going to be challenging, take longer, and cost a lot more money,” Trent Bruce, of DGR Engineering told the City Council Monday. “We have really looked at this pretty deeply and recommend to you to allow us to put a full detour around the project, with rolling closures, so we won’t close down the entire roadway for the entire time, we just close down certain sections.”
Rolling closures would start on the south end and continue north, closing 3-4 block sections at a time. The shorter closures can shorten the duration any one residence or business is impacted during the project and allow the contractor to work more quickly with full access to the roadway, Bruce said.
“Ultimately, the ease of construction will reduce the time, reduce project cost, and improve the safety of the project,” he said.
With this plan, a detour/truck route will be set up for through and truck traffic during each of the two construction seasons. Business access signs will direct people into Sioux Center at various locations, encouraging regular traffic to take the business route into town.
The rolling closures will at times limit front-door access to properties and businesses, as would a head-to head traffic plan. This type of phasing will require additional communication with property owners, business owners, residents and the traveling public, City Manager Scott Wynja said.
Opportunities are being set up for business owners and property owners to meet with the engineers and city planners to review the plan and talk through access for construction in 2024 and 2025.
The council approved the rolling-closure phasing for the 2024 and 2025 Highway 75 construction.
“For me to think about not learning lessons from the first phase of this project as it applies to future project, would seem foolish,” Mayor David Krahling said. “From a safety perspective, from a cost-saving perspective, shortening the duration of some of these interruptions, I’m fine if we have to take some heat for changing our mind. We’re changing our mind for the right reasons.”