Locals traverse alternate routes as road construction expands

Ongoing road construction in the area has resulted in a long list of detours and extended driving time as local residents and commuters hit the asphalt this summer. Marion County engineers announced yet another road closure that will affect area drivers for two weeks.

Starting July 25, crews started work on replacing bridge approaches at the Skunk River on T-22 between Carpenter Drive and Dakota Drive. Marion County engineer Tyler Christian reports the project is expected to take two weeks to complete. A detour will take drivers either up or down Hwy. T-14 north of Pella and reconnect them at either Dakota Drive to the south or to South 124th Avenue East in Jasper County.

In a different project, Hwy. F62 east of Lynnville remains closed as Poweshiek Road Department crews replace the concrete bridge over Sugar Creek. Another bridge replacement job, five miles east of Searsboro, has a mile stretch of Hwy F57 in Poweshiek County closed, also known as Diamond Trail. According to the Poweshiek County Engineer’s Office, both bridge replacement projects are progressing well. The Sugar Creek Bridge replacement between Lynnville and Searsboro that began June 6 is expected to be completed just after Labor Day. The East Buck Creek Bridge replacement between Searsboro and Montezuma that began July 5 is expected to be completed at the beginning of October.

The resurfacing work of  County Road G5T, also known as Old Hwy. 102, from New Sharon to the T33 intersection just south of Peoria in Mahaska County, is still scheduled for completion by the start of the school year. Paving is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 1, west of New Sharon toward the Taintor intersection. While the main paving part of the job is scheduled to be completed before school starts, shoulder work and miscellaneous work will be ongoing. Manatts has been working on other projects in eastern Iowa that have been slowed by rainy weather.

In Jasper County, the Iowa Department of Transportation is overseeing a road construction project on US Highway 6 between Kellogg and Newton. Road closures for a culvert replacement began July 11 and completion is expected by Nov. 4, weather permitting.

Area road departments remind motorists to drive with caution, obey the posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles, and wear seat belts.

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