SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The Gordon Drive viaduct connects twenty thousand vehicles from the east side of Sioux City to downtown on a daily basis, so its reconstruction plan is vital to the future of the city’s transportation.
“We haven’t really determined where exactly we’re gonna go with the project. We aren’t soliciting the project for the five-year program at this time,” said Iowa Department of Transportation’s District 3 planner Dakin Schultz.
Schultz said the reconstruction of both the Gordon Drive viaduct and the Bacon Creek conduit will experience a “minor delay” after city officials requested to re-open conversations with the railways that run parallel to Lewis Boulevard and underneath the current viaduct.
“What we’ve done is we’ve paused on our planning study work with the Bacon Creek conduit and the Gordon Drive viaduct to try and re-engage the rail companies,” said Schultz.
Schultz said the city was presented alternative solutions for the renovation last year but both options run into right-of-way issues with the railroads.
One potential strategy included shutting down Gordon Drive for two years while a new underground conduit was installed. Although the project isn’t in the five-year planner, Schultz remains optimistic after recent federal infrastructure bills provided the state with more financial resources for the future.
“We’re looking at about a 30% increase and that preserves most of our formula funds so the funds that we saw in the last transportation bill are still in existence. There’s some additional funds, there’s some additional bridge money coming to the state of Iowa which is a good thing,” said Schultz.
Schultz said once a preferred alternative solution is chosen, the DOT will go back to the public and speak with impacted property owners about how the project’s design will affect them.