Military Road reconstruction plans shared with Riverside Coalition Neighborhood Network

During the Monthly Riverside Neighborhood Network meeting, Sioux City Engineers and JEO Consulting attended to present current design progress and information concerning Military Road reconstruction from Riverside Boulevard in Sioux City to River Drive in North Sioux City including the Bridge that goes over the Big Sioux River between Iowa and South Dakota.

The project is slated to begin in the Spring of 2018 with a complete shutdown of the bridge to allow replacement of the bridge deck as well as the first section of Military Road from River Drive to Boies Street. The bridge project is expected to take 5 months, the contractor which has not yet been selected will likely be offered incentives to finish early and penalties for finishing late.

There continues to be pushback from the community concerning delays and financial impact this will have for people and business on both sides of the river. The consulting firm explained that a partial shutdown of the bridge will increase the construction timeline and the delays for travelers needing to cross the bridge would be about the same as it will be to just use the detour on Interstate 29 and Riverside Boulevard as traffic across the bridge would be one way at a time and travelers would have to wait to cross. Additionally, there was concern from MidAmerican Energy for construction workers in a partial shutdown because of high-voltage transmission lines that cross the river with the bridge. The North Sioux City Council voted unanimously to close the bridge and Sioux City Council voted 3-2 to close the bridge for the project.

While the bridge is being replaced contractors will also complete the first section of Military Road from River Drive to Boies Street. Once completed Boise Street from Riverside Southwest will no longer intersect with Military Road and will be closed to simplify traffic flow from a 5 way stop to a 4 way stop at Military Road, Edgewater, and Boies.

Once the first 2 stages that will happen together are completed, the remaining section of Military Road from Boies Street to Riverside Boulevard will be reconstructed. The roadway is expected to stay mostly the same with improvements to a 3 lane road, North, and Southbound traffic as well as a center left-turn lane to improve traffic flow. Water mains, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer infrastructure will also be replaced. Improvements to sidewalks and landscaping will be made during the project.

Second only to the bridge closure has been concerns about the Military Road and Riverside Boulevard interchange has been a big debate during the months deciding how the design will look. At one time there were plans to change the intersection to a round-a-bout. This plan has been discarded and the intersection will remain a standard 4-way intersection with traffic lights. Improvements to traffic flow will be made including left turn lanes in all directions. Depending on progress during Spring and Summer of 2018 and Fall and Winter delays the project is expected to wrap up in Early 2019. There is a total 10 month timeline on the project which will be split as construction will stop during the winter months.

Project details can be found at https://www.sioux-city.org/Home/Components/News/News/115/269

Additionally, Iowa Department of Transportation spoke to the Riverside Neighborhood Network Coalition in June detailing preliminary plans for an expected 2020 reconstruction of Highway 12/Riverside Boulevard from War Eagle Road to Military Road. Those plans are still in the early phases and the state is still working with the City to determine how it will look and what additional improvements will be made during that time to City infrastructure. The biggest change currently proposed is that Highway12/Riverside Boulevard will change from a 4-lane road to a 3-lane road, one lane North, one lane South, and a center left-turn lane. The reason for this change is it's believed it improves traffic flow and helps to maintain speed. More information will become available from the State of Iowa, Department of Transportation as this project moves forward.

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