By Brenden West Assistant Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Local officials will gather with great interest in March when the results of a pertinent six-month study are unveiled. The information they receive will help inform what steps need to be taken to upgrade the U.S. 30 corridor to meet the demands of the Lincolnway Industrial Railpark.
Clinton Mayor Mark Vulich said this will serve as a projection for the area in the next 20 to 30 years, and will help inform the Iowa Department of Transportation about what roadway upgrades to anticipate.
“The director of transportation, Mark Trambino, has multiple ideas about how he likes to do things,” Vulich said. “He doesn’t like to just build roads. He’s interested in economic development and how, when you do one thing, what comes of it. When you have a road, how do we see it developing and projecting over the next few years?
“If we’re going to ask the DOT for funding, they’d like to see why we need it and what we think is going to come of it.”
McClure Engineering was contracted to perform the analysis, which measured current traffic patterns west of Clinton on the major county artery. The railpark is already occupied by two businesses — RAIL.ONE and Nevada Railroad Materials — and if more arrive, the need to alter roadways surrounding the area will become a priority.
McClure received $68,850 to conduct the study — half paid by the Iowa Department of Transportation, $25,000 paid by a Clinton County Development Authority grant and the rest divided between Clinton County, Camanche and Clinton.
Officials have already received a rough draft of the presentation, which will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, at the Low Moor Community Center. Clinton City Administrator Jessica Kinser said it will serve as a guide for agencies as the railpark develops.
“It’s setting out that plan as certain traffic counts hit certain intersections, that we’re not overburdening Highway 30,” Kinser said. “It’s all looking at what would be required by the DOT to ensure adequate flow of traffic in regard to the railpark. How to keep traffic flowing without constant interruptions.
“The purpose would be to come back and figure out at the point where industry begins to develop, what are those thresholds where we need to complete certain activities.”
Officials from Low Moor also are expected to attend.
Vulich said that while traffic is the focus, developing the U.S. 30 corridor is a well-rounded endeavor. Utilities upgrades, such as water supply, will need to take place and there are considerations that more than just industrial enhancements can take place.
He said there are possibilities for residential and commercial developments as well.
“A lot is going to depend upon the economics of the whole region,” Vulich said. “We’ve got to have developers who want to spend money to develop. Our hope is that we’ll start to see more development. That corridor study shows us what type of development is suitable for what areas along Highway 30.”
Speaking for colleagues, Vulich added there is a lot of anticipation for city leaders when details of the study are unveiled. The meeting is open to the public.