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Two road projects impacting traffic outside of Marshalltown

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS – Crews work at the former site of one of the two bridges immediately north of Marshalltown on North Center Street Wednesday. The northernmost of the two bridges was removed recently as the replacement project continues.

Marshalltown residents are not the only ones impacted by multiple summer road work projects – plenty of crews are out in Marshall County as well.

Two major projects are in the works – the North Center Street bridges and another project on Dillon Road near Le Grand.

County Engineer Paul Geilenfeldt said the northernmost of the two bridges on North Center Street right outside Marshalltown city limits is gone.

“They’re still working on removal of some of the concrete,” he said. “I’m thinking they’re going to work on it all winter. It’s a deal where winter work is allowed and I think that’s really what they’re going to do.”

The county supervisors asked about the project and what the new bridge will look like. Supervisor Bill Patten wondered if the north bridge will be approximately the same size.

Geilenfeldt said the new bridge will be a little bit larger than its predecessor. The southern bridge, which transverses the Iowa River, is still intact for the time being.

“It’s strange because the north bridge is actually an overflow bridge for the Iowa River, so it’s almost like two bridges make one bridge. When there’s low water, you could walk under that bridge and it’s dry,” Geilenfeldt said.

The project was approved earlier this year at a cost of $2.7 million to be paid with federal, state and grant funds, not property tax revenues.

The bridges were rated to carry loads of 10 to 15 tons, far less than what some vehicles were carrying over the bridges. In addition, Geilenfeldt said the two bridges were used by hundreds of vehicles per day before being closed off for construction.

County officials have said the projects were needed to ensure safety along an important thoroughfare connecting Marshalltown to parts of northern Marshall County, as well as the city’s Water Works facility.

However, many residents in the Sand Road area came to meetings earlier this year to complain about the county’s chosen detour route, which takes drivers on Reed Avenue, which is partially gravel, and 182nd Street, which is entirely gravel, to get to Iowa Highway 14 to access Marshalltown from the north.

Complaints included having to drive on gravel for several months to a few years and safety concerns about intersections along the route.

In response, the intersection of Highway 14 and 182nd Street has been paved and leveled, and lights have been put up on the highway to warn drivers of the traffic coming off 182nd Street. Speed limits of 35 mph have also been posted along the detour route.

Dillon Road project

Geilenfeldt also a project on a portion of Dillon Road, which extends south of U.S. Highway 30 between Marshalltown and Le Grand, is nearing completion. That road is being worked on between 270th Street and 280th Street.

“It’s rocked right now, but we really need to see what the next rain does to it,” Geilenfeldt said. “It should be open by next week. It will be fully back in service before harvest starts.”

Dillon Road is a major route for farmers moving grain to Heartland Cooperative, 3119 290th St.,, Gilman.

The road also served as part of a detour route during construction on Iowa Highway 146 south of Le Grand from early 2018 to the summer of this year.

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Contact Adam Sodders at

641-753-6611 or

asodders@timesrepublican.com