SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The Southbridge Interchange project has acquired the documents needed to start moving forward.

The project is expected to have a budget of $25 million, however, with five years until construction begins, the cost could change.

“The Interchange Justification Report was approved by the Federal Highway, which now enables the project to move to the next phase, which would be the design phase,” said Dakin Schultz, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) District 3 Planner.

“This new interchange will provide better connectivity. Right now, we have a six miles gap between the airport and Port Neal landing. That area has seen a great deal of growth in recent years,” said Mark Nahra, Woodbury County Engineer.

The project will be in the design phase for the next two years and construction for the interchange will start in 2027 and will hopefully be completed the same year. The new junction will benefit industries along Port Neal Drive.

“This should become the primary access to the interstate for Sabre Industries. They won’t have to drive through the south bridge road going up to the 141 anymore. Any southbound loads would be able to more quickly get on the interstate and get headed out,” Said Nahra.

“As the City of Sioux City continues with their industrial expansion to the south, it also helps out on the east side. Its connection not only to the unincorporated portion of Woodbury County just south of Sergeant Bluff, but also Sergeant Bluff,” said Schultz.

However, while the interchange benefits industries in the area, the project requires 60 acres of land. That’s equivalent of 45 football fields.

“Some of the people who own land in that area aren’t pleased with this particular location. People farther south, they’re pleased that we didn’t choose the southern option. It’s very much a matter of perspective for those local property owners,” said Nahra.

“As we move forward with the design, it will eventually have to be back out to landowners to talk about acquisition of property,” said Schultz.

Along with the interchange, there are plans for commercial and residential developments.