We would like to take the time to thank everyone who attended the meeting for completion of Highway 30, from Lisbon to DeWitt with four lanes, that took place in Clarence.
A very large number of people turning out for a event like this is 100 people. This drew 250 people, and from walking and talking to many people the overall atmosphere was 100 percent for four lanes. This definitely surprised the DOT.
This turnout was made possible by many people, but especially some, and we would like to give them credit for their hard work. Our Chamber director Maureen Miller, calling, emails, texting – she did an outstanding job. Others instrumental in showing their support included Erin Cole, president of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation; Angela Rheangins, DeWitt Chamber; the Mayor of DeWitt; area bankers; council members; and hundreds of concerned citizens. Our legislators, Mommsen, Wolfe and Cournoyer, were all in attendance and they invited other legislators from across the corridor.
All of the Supervisors from Clinton and Cedar counties were present. There were people from the Cedar Rapids Chamber as well. Someone from every city council across the corridor was in attendance. Bill Schemers from the Clinton City Council was very adamant about getting this road done. Good job, Bill. In addition, there were also some very special people in attendance. We call these three the founders of modern transportation for Eastern Iowa: Ron McGovern, Harry (Bud) Rutenbeck and Carolyn Tallett. They have devoted a lifetime to transportation and economic development in Eastern Iowa. There is no doubt that our fourth founder, Edith Pfeffer, was missed, but we are sure she was watching from above.
Barb Suehl Franz, on the Illinois side, is coming up with a new four-lane route to I-88. From the east side of Fulton, south easterly down to I-88, only 12 miles and no towns. Thank you to ADM and LyondellBasell Industries for your continued support of this project.
The next question is where does it go from here? Of course this meeting in Clarence was one battle that was definitely won. There are more battles to come: 1. We have built many four-lane roads in rural Iowa. All have been very successful. Highway 20 was completed using the philosophy "If we build it, they will come" and they did. This will also be true for Highway 30. 2. We know the DOT will like the super two configuration which is three lanes, two on one side for a mile or two and then switching to the other side. It is less money but safety-wise not much better than a two-lane road. 3. This isn't about traffic – it's about economic development, which equals jobs! Site selectors for new business and industry require that the property be on a four-lane road. Today no one uses atlases or paper maps. They use Google. Google sends everyone to the interstate and takes traffic away from all of rural Iowa. For example, you can Google Clarence to Des Moines or Chicago and it sends you down route 38 to I-80 and doesn't even mention Highway 30. Four-lane roads allow folks to live in small communities and work in larger communities. A big positive to living in small rural communities is the high quality of life and absence of drive-by shootings.
We appreciate your attendance at the meeting in Clarence. Please go online to the Iowa DOT US 30 planning study and register your comments. This is very important in order to keep this project moving forward. We appreciate your support and attendance in the future.
Thanks to everyone,
Tom Determann and Dave Rose