He urged his audience to keep in mind that road revisions will be made as demand increases. Bailey presented no road projects that need to be tackled in the near future.
However, if the park proceeds as anticipated, road upgrades estimate at $3.84 million.
“All of these cost estimates are based on current practices,” Bailey said. “What’s driving this is development. As development occurs along the corridor, you can look at traffic thresholds that are going to trigger the need for these improvements to occur.”
McClure’s presentation included unprecedented road work for the state of Iowa. It contained plans for a “restricted crossover U-turn” (RCUT) intersection. This forces traffic to make right turns when entering the highway; if those drivers wish to turn left, infrastructure allowing U-turns exists up the road.
This revision would take place at the 54th Street intersection. It alone costs roughly $1.075 million.
It appeared to some like a steep price. But Bailey said the alternative is to construct an interchange at $15 million.
Other plans called for new turn lanes, paved roads and wider roads for large vehicles that would be built at the 60th Street, 40th Street and Millcreek Parkway intersections. And a checklist for four rail access improvements totaled $1.867 million in estimates.
It’s very unlikely the costs would all come from local coffers, Bailey said. Cities and the county can apply for RISE grants and DOT funding while utilizing development methods like tax increment financing.
The presentation also contained plans for land that is not owned by any municipality. Vulich said there are no offers to purchase this land yet, but if those portions also wind up within the rail park, it could lead to construction of access roads for companies on the north side of the development.
Meanwhile, McClure showcased non-industrial land that’s anticipated to grow. Bailey pointed to pockets along the corridor that local leaders feel will one day turn into housing, commercial or more industrial growth.
Following the forum, Vulich felt people had a glimpse into the county’s future. There’s little that can be done for now, but it’s good for communities to see what could happen.
“It’s for the future,” he said. “It’s going to be a building process.”