The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

March 13, 2014

Building on a dream

LOW MOOR -- Without much to look at, Clinton Mayor Mark Vulich said it can be difficult for others to see what he sees at the Lincolnway Industrial Railpark. Two companies have purchased a handful of acres out of the hundreds available for development. Those projects, which are now under construction, are tucked behind a ridge, south of U.S. 30 and out of view of passing cars.

Following a Wednesday public forum, Vulich believes that vision will become clearer for people.

“The county is trying to be very proactive in trying to build for our future,” he said. “Instead of, ‘we built something, now we need to react to it.’ We’re already seeing if something is built, we know how it affects our community.”

Vulich joined roughly 40 other county leaders at the Low Moor Community Center where attendees took in a study eight months in the making. Led by McClure Engineering Inc., the impact analysis delivered data, maps and recommendations for how best to accommodate Lincoln Way’s development.

Aided by funding from the Iowa Department of Transportation, the study cost local cities roughly $3,000 apiece. The information they received, said Vulich, was invaluable.

The big takeaway was that U.S. 30 will undergo significant changes if the rail park is fully realized. Using DOT statistics and highway traffic cameras, McClure documented the flow and diversity of traffic over the course of the study, which started in July 2013. Engineer Kevin Bailey led the discussion, informing viewers that today about 10,000 vehicles pass through the corridor daily between Clinton city limits and the Low Moor interchange.

Development could increase traffic to 15,000 per day, thus county leaders should consider what road renovations may be necessary.

“With growth occurring in the park itself, we need to take a step backwards and look at the whole corridor,” Bailey said. “Growth and traffic are going to increase -- what improvements need to be made along Highway 30?”

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