Seeking public input

Highway 14 study prompts community meetings; survey now open

A proposed Highway 14 Corridor study will focus on the area between Anson Street and the Iowa River bridge. This image shows the Highway 14/North 3rd Avenue corridor looking south.

“Our timeline for the study is that it would be complete by the end of May.”

Marshalltown City Administrator Jessica Kinser said a study of the Iowa Highway 14 corridor, in the north part of town, will be looking to local residents and business owners for possible area improvements.

“We know the DOT is going to be doing a project, so we wanted to get this study done to give us an idea if there are things that we should be thinking about doing,” she said of a planned Iowa Department of Transportation project on the highway. “Having a new, paved roadway is something that people notice, so how can we then make sure that we’ve done some other things in the short term, or that are infrastructure projects that fit along the same lines?”

The study was unanimously approved by the Marshalltown City Council at a cost of $75,730 at the Dec. 11, 2017 regular meeting. Midwest consulting firm Bolton and Menk Inc. is performing the study.

“Last year, with Highway 14 and talking about the resurfacing, we talked a lot and took some actions related to re-designing the medians in the south part of Highway 14,” Kinser said. “As we sat back, we thought about if Highway 14 could be resurfaced throughout the city, how could we forget the north side?”

She said the corridor is a “visible area for people coming in and out of the city on a daily basis,” and added the study will look at Highway 14/North 3rd Avenue from Anson Street north to the Iowa River bridge.

The first of three public open houses on the study is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30 in the Woodbury Elementary cafeteria, 8 N. 7th Ave. Participants will be able to interact with the consultant design team and offer input.

Kinser said the goal of the study is to find where enhancements could be made along the corridor, adding there will be few noticible changes to the area during the study.

“During the study, probably not too much,” Kinser said.

One of the first steps of the study was to open up an online community survey.

“The survey offers a wide variety of different things,” Kinser said. “I think there’s a lot … that will probably come out of this survey, as far as what people are looking for.”

While the planned DOT project in the area is separate from the corridor study, Kinser said the department has shared engineering data with Bolton and Menk, including topographical information.

“Regardless of what the DOT does, there is still a reason to talk about ways that there can be public and private investment to enhance the area,” Kinser said. “I know that they’re sharing some of their engineering data … with our consultants, and that they had talked about setting up a public meeting in the area to talk about their project sometime this spring.”

The consulting firm has divided the corridor into four main areas. From south to north, those areas are the “Southern Highway Corridor,” the “Downtown Central Business District and Medical Campus,” the “Northern Highway Corridor” and the “North Gateway and Riverview Park.”

To take the survey and to stay updated on the study as it develops, visit https://marshalltown-ia.gov/566/Hwy-14-Corridor-Study.

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com