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Rural Issues Roundtable

Posted: Mon, August 26, 2013
Local residents, business owners and community leaders will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa when Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, visits Postville on Thursday, September 12th, at 1:00 p.m. at the Upper Explorerland Conference Room at 134 W Greene Street.  If you would like to speak with Bill Menner before the event please contact Darin Leach at (515) 284-4747.

USDA Rural Development's funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa.  Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $2.5 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families. Today, more than 1.7 million Iowans live in rural communities and areas, and nearly half of the state's communities have fewer than 500 residents.
 
This past year USDA Rural Development's investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
 
For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development, please call the office located in Waverly at (319) 352-1715 Ext. 4. This office serves communities, businesses and residents in Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties. Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency's web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
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UERPC August Newsletter

Posted: Mon, August 19, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • Fayette Housing Trust Fund Update
  • Employee Spotlight-Heather Delaney
  • Back to School
  • IowaWorks-Did you Know?
  • Project Update
  • Do You Have a REAL ID?
  • A New "Spin" on Smoothies
  • Welcome Mary!
... [ Read More ]


Region RWIB/CEO Board Meeting Agenda 8-20-13

Posted: Fri, August 16, 2013

Please see below notice for more information.

... [ Read More ]


Tall Corn Stalks Obstruct Views on Roadways

Posted: Thu, August 8, 2013
As Iowa's corn crop grows taller, motorists are urged to use extra caution at roadway intersections and railroad crossings where the driver's view may be obstructed.
 
Iowa Department of Transportation statistics show there were 33 crashes during 2012 at rural intersections due to obstructed views by trees or crops. These crashes killed one person and caused at least 40 injuries, 14 of those were considered major.
 
Jeremey Vortherms, the Iowa DOT's state safety engineer, said, "If you've lived in Iowa through a growing season, you know that crops can obstruct views of highway and railroad intersections in rural areas. Still, it seems people underestimate the danger these intersections can hold. Entering an uncontrolled intersection or railroad crossing requires an added measure of caution. Be alert and take the extra time to look for other vehicles."
 
Vortherms said motorists should treat uncontrolled intersections as if they had stop or yield signs posted, and not enter the intersection or cross the railroad tracks until they are absolutely certain no vehicles are coming from the side roads or trains are present, and then proceed with caution.
 
The danger is not only from oncoming traffic on gravel roads. Trains can be very difficult to spot when tall corn stalks limit the view at a rural crossing. Tammy Nicholson, director of the Iowa DOT's Office of Rail Transportation, says, "Although trains are considerably taller than most crops, it still becomes difficult to see them approaching at an uncontrolled intersection where the view is obstructed by vegetation or other visibility hazards." Nicholson reminds motorists to "Look, Listen and Live" when crossing railroad tracks.
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Northeast Iowa Mobility Solutions Team Conducting New Survey

Posted: Tue, July 30, 2013
The Northeast Iowa Mobility Solutions Team is a team of local economic development, transportation and employment specialists selected to participate in the national Job Access Mobility Institute through the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA).  The goal of the institute and our Northeast Iowa Team is to ensure that transportation is always the link and never the barrier to employment.  The Team has been meeting for some time and has developed some new regional transportation ideas and is now in the concept evaluation stage of their project.

The Team is currently conducting a survey to collect input on the concepts they have developed to help determine the feasibility of the ideas that have been proposed to improve commuter transportation in the region.  The video survey can be accessed at:  www.EARLtransit.com  and is completely anonymous.  The team is seeking input from employees, employers and job seekers who live or work in any of these five Iowa counties:  Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek.  The survey will be open through Aug 15, 2013.  For additional information regarding the survey or the Job Access Mobility Institute project in Northeast Iowa, please contact Karn Pankow, Operations/Mobility Manager at Northeast Iowa Community Action:  1-866-382-4259/karn@neicac.org or Karla Organist, Transportation Planner at Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission:  korganist@uerpc.org.
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Iowa DOT Adding Mobile Option to Interactive Bike Map

Posted: Thu, July 18, 2013
Have you ever had to change plans in the middle of a trip? The Iowa Department of Transportation is making that quick shift in plans a little easier for bicyclists by activating a mobile version of its popular interactive bike map.

Explore this interactive map to plan or alter your trip. Find bicycle trail routes and features including trailheads, parking, restrooms, and bicycle shops.

•    Plan your bike trip ahead of time or on the fly: Simply enter the starting address and destination address and a suggested route will be generated.
•    Discover Iowa's bicycle facilities: This interactive map shows bike lanes, paved trails, unpaved trails, roads with paved shoulders, sidepaths and bicycle-friendly roads.
•    Locate bicycle amenities: The map includes features such as trailheads, restrooms, and water fountains along trails of 5 miles or longer.
•    Need repairs: Bicycle shops are also shown.

Both the regular and mobile versions of the interactive bike map website can be found at http://www.iowadot.gov/interactiveiowabikemap.htm. On either version of this site, you can also request a free paper copy of the Iowa Transportation Map for Bicyclists at this website. The map is also available as part of the myIowaDOT app. Find it on Apple devices through the iTunes Store or on Android devices through Google Play by searching for myIowaDOT.

Bicycles and motor vehicles share the same roadways and must follow the same rules of the road. Safely sharing the road is the responsibility of both the bicyclist and the motorist.
Safety tips for bicyclists:
•           Always wear a helmet
•           Know and obey traffic laws
•           Ride on the right, with traffic
•           Use hand and arm signals
•           Use lights at night
•           Ride only where permitted
•           Pass on the left
 
 Safety tips for motorists:
•           Do not honk at bicyclists
•           Use extra caution when passing bicycles
•           Be aware that cyclists might swerve to avoid road hazards
•           Be careful when opening your vehicle door
•           When in doubt, yield to bicyclists

For more information contact Milly Ortiz at 515-233-7733 or at milly.ortiz@dot.iowa.gov.
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Region RWIB/CEO Board Meeting Agenda

Posted: Tue, July 16, 2013

Please see below notice for more information.

... [ Read More ]


UERPC July Newsletter

Posted: Mon, July 15, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • Too Much Water!
  • Employee Spotlight-Sue Severson
  • Upcoming CDBG Opportunities
  • Northeast Iowa Mobility Solutions Team Conducting New Survey
  • Howe Represents Northeast Iowa on State-Wide Board
  • Local Food Box Program
  • H2O Program
  • IowaWorks-Did You Know
  • Community Efficient and Renewable Energy Workshop
  • Opportunity Housing Service Shuttle
... [ Read More ]


CEO Board Meeting Agenda Notice 7/17/2013

Posted: Thu, July 11, 2013

Please see below notice for more information.

... [ Read More ]


Update-Iowa 3 Between Readlyn and Oelwein to Close July 15 for Concrete Pavement Work

Posted: Tue, July 2, 2013
Concrete pavement overlay work will require closing a section of Iowa 3 from the intersection with Bremer County Road V-56 (6 miles east of Readlyn) to the intersection with Iowa 150 (near Oelwein in Fayette County) beginning Monday morning, July 15, weather permitting, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation's District 2 Office.

Eastbound Iowa 3 traffic wanting to travel north on Iowa 150 is detoured from Iowa 3 north on Bremer/Fayette County Road V-62, and then east on Fayette County Road C-33 to Iowa 150.

Eastbound Iowa 3 traffic wanting to remain on Iowa 3 through Oelwein is detoured south on Bremer/Fayette County Road V-62, east on Iowa 281, and then north on Iowa 150 to Iowa 3.

Westbound Iowa 3 traffic will be detoured using Iowa 150 south, to Iowa 281, east on Iowa 281 to Bremer/Fayette County Road V-62, and then north on Bremer/Fayette County Road V-62 to Iowa 3.

Oversize loads will be prohibited on the detour route. This project is expected to be completed by Nov. 1.

The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

For traveler information anytime, visit www.511ia.org; call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide); stay connected with 511 on Facebook or Twitter (find links at www.iowadot.com/511/socialmedia.html); or download the free app to your mobile device.
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Northeast Iowa Mobility Solutions Team Conducting New Survey

Posted: Tue, July 30, 2013
The Northeast Iowa Mobility Solutions Team is a team of local economic development, transportation and employment specialists selected to participate in the national Job Access Mobility Institute through the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA).  The goal of the institute and our Northeast Iowa Team is to ensure that transportation is always the link and never the barrier to employment.  The Team has been meeting for some time and has developed some new regional transportation ideas and is now in the concept evaluation stage of their project.

The Team is currently conducting a survey to collect input on the concepts they have developed to help determine the feasibility of the ideas that have been proposed to improve commuter transportation in the region.  The video survey can be accessed at:  www.EARLtransit.com  and is completely anonymous.  The team is seeking input from employees, employers and job seekers who live or work in any of these five Iowa counties:  Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek.  The survey will be open through Aug 15, 2013.  For additional information regarding the survey or the Job Access Mobility Institute project in Northeast Iowa, please contact Karn Pankow, Operations/Mobility Manager at Northeast Iowa Community Action:  1-866-382-4259/karn@neicac.org or Karla Organist, Transportation Planner at Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission:  korganist@uerpc.org.
... [ Read More ]


UERPC June Newsletter

Posted: Mon, June 17, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • Opportunity Housing Service Shuttle
  • Employee Spotlight-Karine Schager
  • Upper Explorerland Donates Bikes to Area Students
  • Calling All City Clerks
  • Request for Concept Papers for Iowa AmeriCorps Grants
  • June is Dairy Month
  • Transportation Update
... [ Read More ]


Iowa DOT on Target for Online Renewal Beginning Mid-July

Posted: Tue, June 4, 2013
Renewing your driver's license from the comfort of your own home is expected to become a reality in mid-July, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

In May, Governor Branstad signed House File 355 that paved the way for the Iowa DOT to write rules governing the online renewal process. That process is expected to be completed and the online system up and running in mid-July.

"We are looking forward to making the driver's license renewal process as easy as possible for Iowans very soon," said Mark Lowe, director of the Iowa DOT's Motor Vehicle Division. "What we would like people to know right now is that there are imposter websites out there trying to take advantage of people. There is no way for you to renew your Iowa driver's license online right now, so beware of those imitator sites."
... [ Read More ]


2013 Iowa Transportation Map

Posted: Thu, May 23, 2013
Have you ever wondered how to get to Kendallville? If so, the Iowa Department of Transportation has just the publication for you. The new 2013 Iowa Transportation Map is now available in the standard fold-out paper form, on the Internet or through a mobile device viewing app.

The front cover of this year's map highlights the 100th anniversary of the Iowa State Highway Commission, later restructured as the Iowa Department of Transportation. The back panel includes a welcome message from Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Copies of the 2013 map are available at the Iowa DOT's 18 driver's license stations, county treasurer's offices, all six Iowa DOT district offices and Iowa's rest areas. The map can also be ordered online through the Iowa DOT's website.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority's Iowa Tourism Office also distributes maps to Iowa's 19 welcome centers across the state and all travelers requesting tourism information online and by phone. To order a free Iowa travel packet that includes the new map and 2013 Iowa Travel Guide, call 800-345-IOWA (4692) or visit traveliowa.com.

An electronic version of the map, accompanied by an assortment of city detail maps, is also available online at iowadot.gov/maps by selecting the "Transportation Map" link. Information for a mobile device map viewing app is available there as well.

The 2013 map shows all highways, airports, rail lines, lakes, rivers and major county roads. Detail maps are shown for the state's 16 largest cities that identify highways, major streets and city boundaries. The map information also includes a chart to find mileage between select Iowa cities; and an index listing the cities shown on the map, along with their populations and map location.

In addition to the standard features mentioned, the 2013 map includes two Quick Response (QR) codes that can be scanned with a QR reader on a smartphone or other mobile device. Simply download a free QR application from your device's online app store. One of the codes provides access to all the websites listed on the printed map, as well as a link to the online version of the map. The other provides a direct link to Iowa's 511 travel information website.
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2013 TRRC TRI-P

Posted: Sat, June 29, 2013
The 2013 TRI-P—A Triathlon with a Twist!
  • Leg #1—2-person canoe race from Valley Canoe Launch to Gilbertson Park
  • Leg #2—Bike race/ride from Gilbertson Park to 245th Street (Pleasant Valley Sports Club)
  • Leg #3—9 hole 2-person best shot golf round
  • Entry Fee—$100 / per team
  • Must be 18 or older to participate
  • Participants must provide their own equipment—canoe, bike, and golf clubs. Rentals are available locally for an additional fee. Please visit www.turkeyrivercorridor.com for a complete listing.
  • Registration is online at www.turkeyrivercorridor.com or in person at Pleasant Valley Sports Club. Registration deadline is June 21, 2013. Late registration fee is $125 after that date.
  • All canoes must have proper Iowa registration and life jackets will be required for all participants.
  • Bike helmets are required during the bike race/ride.
  • Early bird event registration will be available on Friday, June 28th from 7:00—9:00 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Sports Club. Avoid the rush the morning of the event by attending this orientation session the night before. Enjoy snacks and a cash bar and meet other triathlon participants!
  • Get your team together NOW and have a day of FUN on the Turkey River! Cash payouts, door prizes, & more.


... [ Read More ]


UERPC May Newsletter

Posted: Mon, May 20, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • News from Lime Springs
  • Employee Spotlight, Lori Brockway
  • IA Benchmarking Program
  • Disaster Funding Available
  • Regional Transportation Update
... [ Read More ]


IA Public Transit Photography Contest

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013
Iowa Public Transit Photography Contest Deadline is June 1st

You have less than three weeks to submit photos documenting the great public transit activity in Iowa! It is a perfect time of year for outdoor photography, so grab the camera and get some pictures of your transit system in action! If you already have good photos on your computer or camera, get them entered!

Information on how to submit your photos is available at http://www.iowadot.gov/transit/2013TransitPhotoContest.pdf.

Whether your photos represent rural or urban transit, mobility management, employee transportation, medical transportation, customer service, facilities, vehicles, bus stops or another transit related category, we want to see and share your transit photography! 
... [ Read More ]


IA DOT Launches IA Travel Planning Website for Byways and Bicycles

Posted: Mon, May 13, 2013

The Iowa Department of Transportation is pleased to announce the release of two new interactive websites for planning travel adventures on Iowa's byways and bicycle trails.

These full-feature sites are ideal for planning trips to explore Iowa's two national scenic byways and nine state scenic and heritage byways along with Iowa's many bicycle trails that crisscross and complement the byways. The byways website is: http://www.iowabyways.org; the bicycle website is:  http://www.iowadot.gov/interactiveiowabikemap.htm.

Iowa byways website and tour guide
Discover your Iowa adventure at the Iowa byways interactive website. It is loaded with information about the byways, including a route description and its history, contact information, and listing of local events, attractions and travel services. The stunning photography will undoubtedly draw visitors to discover Iowa's scenic, natural, historic and cultural resources. The website is updated regularly by local byway organizations. Come see what Iowa's nationally recognized byways have to offer. You can plan, map and share your adventure, save notes or even send an e-postcard.

The Iowa Byways website offers several unique features:
  • Customize your search: This is not your ordinary search option. Visitors can search the site by type (event, attraction or travel service); category (arts and culture, dining, events and festivals, historic sites, natural areas, recreation, and shopping); or cost. The search results can be added to the user's trip; saved as a favorite; or shared using social media.
  • Plan your trip details: Sign up for free and then create trips by selecting events, attractions and travel services of interest; or add something from your list of favorites. Once you've finished, you can print an itinerary for your trip; share your trip plans via Google Plus™, email or as a tweet; export the information; or save it for later use.
  • Share an e-postcard: Choose a postcard photo from one of the byway galleries. Then add a personalized message and email it to a friend or family member.  
  • Create your favorites list and make notes: Once you've discovered an interesting attraction or event on the site, save it as a favorite. Then you can add it to a trip, print a list of your favorites, come back to it later or retrieve the information en route using your smartphone.
You can also order a free copy of the Iowa Byways travel guide, or simply print a copy. 

Iowa interactive bicycle map
One of Iowa DOT's most popular publications, the Iowa Transportation Map for Bicyclists, is now online. Explore this interactive map to plan your trip and find bicycle trail routes and amenities, right down to available rest stops and restaurants.
 
Features include trailheads, parking, rest rooms, bicycle shops and other key features.  
  • Plan your bike trip ahead of time: Simply enter the starting address and destination address and a suggested route will be generated.
  • Discover Iowa's bicycle facilities: This interactive map shows bike lanes, paved trails, unpaved trails, roads with paved shoulders, sidepaths and bicycle-friendly roads.
  • Locate bicycle amenities: Features such as trailheads, restrooms, and water fountains along trails of 5 miles or longer.
  • Need repairs: Bicycle shops are also shown. 
 
You can also request a free Iowa Transportation Map for Bicyclists.
... [ Read More ]


Iowa DOT supports National Bike Month

Posted: Tue, April 30, 2013

With the weather finally warming up, more and more of us, as well as our friends and neighbors, will be pedaling down the streets on two wheels. The Iowa Department of Transportation is joining the League of American Bicyclists to promote May as National Bike Month.
 
Check around your workplace or community for activities related to these dates:
  • Bike to School Day - May 8 (Be sure to register at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/)
  • Bike to work week May 13 - 17
  • Bike to work day - May 17

If you are heading out on two wheels, here are a few safety tips.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Wear bright colored clothing, rather than dark colors, especially at dusk and dawn.
  • Ride on the right. Ride in the right lane, except when passing another vehicle, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding hazards.
  • Never ride against traffic. Always ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Obey traffic signs and signals. Use hand signals to advise motorists you plan to turn, change lanes or stop.
  • Make eye contact with motorists. Never assume a motorist sees you or that you have the right of way. Expect the unexpected such as: parked vehicles pulling into traffic; vehicle doors opening into your path; and debris on the road.
  • At night use a headlight, taillight and reflectors.
  • For motorists, safely sharing the road with bicycles includes the following:
  • Do not honk your horn at bicyclists. They may be startled and lose control.
  • Use extra caution when passing bicycles. Move entirely into the left lane; on a two-lane road, do not pass a bicycle if oncoming traffic is near.
  • Be aware that bicyclists might swerve to avoid road hazards. Common road hazards for bicyclists are potholes, debris, drainage grates, railroad tracks and narrow bridges.
  • Be careful when opening your vehicle door. Road widths often force bicyclists to ride close to parked vehicles where they may be injured by an opening door.
  • When in doubt, yield to bicycles. 
... [ Read More ]


Iowa DOT Begins Traffic Information Collection

Posted: Mon, April 29, 2013

The Iowa Department of Transportation is working across the state this spring and summer to determine how many cars, trucks and other vehicles are using the state's roadways.

This year's efforts are concentrated in northeastern Iowa, but occasionally crews will work elsewhere in the state. Many employees will spend peak hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. at one location counting the morning, noon and evening traffic. They count and classify vehicles, record vehicle turning movements, tally helmet usage by motorcyclists, and gather other data necessary to plan the future of Iowa's roadway systems. During off-peak hours when they are not counting vehicles, these employees may be seen around the community.
 
Other employees will be placing and checking portable traffic recorders in the same general areas. When the recorders are set, they usually record data for one or two days and are checked periodically. Employees responsible for the recorders work various shifts, so their vehicles may be seen at local motels while most of us are going about our regular daytime activities.
 
Another data collection method involves capturing images of state highways. This program covers half of the state yearly and utilizes a van with two mounted cameras that collect 200 images per mile. At the same time, precise location information is collected through a global positioning system. That data is stored along with the images on the van's onboard computer system. This van may be seen operating on state highways in the northern half of Iowa this year.
 
Other statewide work scheduled for this summer includes the installation, upgrading and maintenance of permanent, automatic traffic recorders and weigh-in-motion equipment.
 
All of this work is critical to the future of the state's transportation system. The information gathered allows transportation officials to better predict traffic trends, thus allowing them to plan improvements that will give Iowans the most benefit for each dollar spent.
... [ Read More ]


West Union Green Streetscape on Profiles Series

Posted: Mon, April 29, 2013
 
West Union's green pilot streetscape project and partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) will be featured on an educational television program, "Profiles Series" with host Larry King, on Monday, May 6, 2013 at 6:00 am on the Discovery Channel. The half-hour program will include other feature segments and commentary by host Larry King from the studio. A production team gathered footage in West Union on November 1, 2012. This included interviews with West Union City Administrator Robert Vagts, former West Union mayor Merlin Dunt, Business Owner Dick Woodard, and IEDA Community Development Division Administrator Tim Waddell.
 
The segment will focus on the streetscape's design and implementation, including the stormwater management and district geothermal system. It will highlight the local connections between downtown revitalization, sustainability, and economic development, in addition to the commitment needed to accomplish the project.
 
"Profiles Series" produces educational programming on a variety of important subjects and issues: Environmental, Health & Medical, Educational, Business and Agriculture. Its host, Emmy Award-winning Larry King, has been dubbed "the most remarkable talk-show host on TV ever" by TV Guide and "master of the mic" by "TIME" magazine.
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Spring Brings Increased Farm Equipment Movement on Roadways

Posted: Thu, April 25, 2013

As the soil temperatures continue to rise, farmers are preparing to get into the fields as soon as the weather allows. Adding these vehicles to the mix on Iowa roadways will call for increasing patience on the part of motorists who will be sharing the road with slow-moving farm equipment.
 
In the spirit of cooperation, the Iowa Department of Transportation is urging both motorists and farm vehicle operators to exercise caution during the busy spring planting season.
 
Data for 2012 shows a total of 170 crashes involved farm equipment. Those crashes resulted in 12 fatalities, 11 major injuries, 35 minor injuries and 40 other possible injuries. Of the 170 crashes, 96 resulted only in property damage.

Tips for motorists
•    Be alert and always watch for slow-moving vehicles, especially during planting and harvest seasons.
•    Be patient and do not assume the equipment operator can move aside to let you pass. The shoulder may not be able to support a heavy farm vehicle.
•    Slow down as soon as you see the triangular-shaped, red and fluorescent orange slow-moving vehicle emblem.

Tips for farm vehicle operators
•    Make your intentions known when you are turning by using signal lights or the appropriate hand signal in advance of the turn.
•    Drive slow-moving vehicles in the right-hand lane as close to the edge of the roadway as safely possible. Traveling partially on the shoulder may cause motorists to risk passing in a dangerous situation.
•    Avoid encouraging or signaling motorists to pass. Pull over where it is safe, and let the traffic go by.
•    Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train extends 3 feet beyond the tracks on both sides.
... [ Read More ]


Iowa DOT Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Posted: Tue, April 16, 2013

Iowa's earliest road system was a network of dirt, wooden plank, and gravel and crushed clamshell roads. During periods of rain or snow, the roadway system turned into a mire of mud. To assist Iowans out of the mud, on April 9, 1913, a new Iowa law was enacted to create the Iowa State Highway Commission as a state governing body over highway construction. In 1974, all modes of transportation were added to the purview of the agency and it was renamed the Iowa Department of Transportation.
 
To commemorate its 100th anniversary and celebrate Iowa's rich transportation history, the Iowa DOT has launched a new website: www.iowadot.gov/history/home.html. The website includes:
•    A graphic timeline featuring milestones throughout Iowa's transportation history.
•    A blog featuring stories about advances in transportation and how those advances have more efficiently moved people across the state. The Iowa DOT encourages all Iowans to share stories on this blog about how you, a friend or family member has played or is playing a part in creating Iowa's transportation history.
•    Announcements about anniversary activities.
•    A Storify feed of anniversary coverage and transportation history articles.
•    A downloadable gallery of historic transportation photos unique to Iowa and 100th anniversary materials.
•    All of the Iowa DOT's historic resources gathered in one easy-to-search place.
Each week, a historic transportation photo will be featured on the Iowa DOT's main Facebook and Twitter pages, and also in the featured sites area of the Iowa DOT's home page at: www.iowadot.gov.

... [ Read More ]


UERPC April Newsletter

Posted: Mon, April 15, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • RLF-Lunch and Learn
  • Get fit with Cresco
  • Employee Spotlight-Karla Organist
  • Grant Announcements
  • Congratulations to the city of Lime Springs
  • National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
... [ Read More ]


Iowa DOT Kicks Off Construction Season

Posted: Thu, April 4, 2013
 
It looks like the weather is finally changing from winter to construction season in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Transportation is poised to tackle construction work in every corner of the state. Depending on the remaining outcomes of bid lettings through June, the Iowa DOT will have let out to bid approximately $600 million in Primary Highway System construction work during the 2013 calendar year. Iowa's counties and cities will also be setting up work zones in many areas in an effort to improve Iowa's transportation system.

For travel information 24/7, online, anytime, visit www.511ia.org or call 511 (in Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide). Follow us on Twitter @iowadot or @statewideia511.

This is a list of the most visible projects, according to the Iowa DOT's Office of Construction and Materials.
 
Central Iowa
Roadway: Interstate 35
County: Polk
In West Des Moines, the capacity improvement of I-35 will continue this year with the construction of the new southbound lanes between the I-35/I-80/I-235 interchange and Raccoon River bridge. Traffic will be maintained in two lanes in each direction using the existing northbound lanes and median sections constructed last year. Access to Mill Civic Parkway will be maintained and single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours. The I-35 interchange at Grand Avenue will be affected by the closures of the southbound exit and entrance ramps to allow for interchange reconstruction.
 
Roadway: Interstate 80
County: Polk
Work continues on I-80 near Altoona from the U.S. 65 bypass to east of the I-80/U.S. 65 interchange. The project includes reconstructing the Altoona interchange, capacity improvements to westbound I-80 and reconstruction of the 34th Avenue Northwest bridge over I-80. Two lanes of traffic on I-80 will be maintained in each direction during peak hours. Single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours. During the construction season, 34th Avenue Northwest and the northbound U.S. 65 ramp to I-80 will be closed. Detours will be in place.
 
Roadway: Interstate 35/80
County: Polk
I-35/I-80 will be resurfaced from the west junction of I-235 north to Iowa 141. The asphalt concrete resurfacing will be completed at night to allow normal traffic patterns during the daytime.
 
Roadway: Interstate 235
County: Polk
This project includes construction of a westbound I-235 auxiliary lane between the 73rd Street interchange and 63rd Street interchange in Windsor Heights. Westbound traffic will not be affected during construction of the project.
 
Roadway: U.S. 65
County: Polk
This project includes construction of two pairs of overflow bridges on U.S. 65 near the Des Moines River. The northbound bridges will be constructed in 2013 and southbound bridges in 2014. Traffic will be restricted to a two-lane, two-way configuration in the southbound lanes during the 2013 construction season.
 
Roadway: U.S. 20
County: Hamilton
Eastbound U.S. 20 from Iowa 17 to U.S. 69 will be reconstructed. Traffic will be operating in a two-lane, two-way traffic configuration in the westbound lanes.
 
Roadway: U.S. 65
County: Warren
The southbound U.S. 65 bridge over the North River will be reconstructed. Traffic will be operating in a two-lane, two-way traffic configuration in the northbound lanes.
 
Roadway: U.S. 30
County: Story
Eastbound U.S. 30 will be reconstructed with a concrete inlay from just east of I-35 near Ames to the west side of Nevada. Traffic will be operating in a two-lane, two-way traffic pattern in the westbound lanes of U.S. 30 for the construction season. Access to U.S. 30 from the south will not be allowed within the project limits during construction, except at the access to Story County Road R-70 upon completion of the project's first phase. Access to the north will be limited to right-in, right-out operations at the intersections within the project limits.
 
Roadway: Interstate 80
County: Dallas
The westbound shoulders on I-80 from the Polk County line west 20 miles will be reconstructed. In addition, there will be high-tension cable guardrail placed in the median and updated guardrail placed at several locations along the route. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction during peak hours. Single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours.

Roadway: U.S. 6 (Hickman Road)
County: Dallas and Polk
Several left-turn lanes will be lengthened at Alice's Road, 156th Street, 142nd Street and 128th Street. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction during peak hours. Single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours.

North central/Northeast Iowa
Roadway: Interstate 380/U.S. 20
County: Black Hawk
Northbound I-380/U.S. 20 will be reconstructed from River Forest Road in Evansdale to the east U.S. 20 interchange. Initially, the inside lane for both north- and southbound traffic will be closed to construct median crossovers. Once the crossovers are constructed, traffic will be in a two-lane, two-way configuration in the southbound lanes. Due to anticipated traffic congestion and delays, motorists are being urged to find an alternate route. Emergency detours have been established. Visit the project website for complete details at http://www.iowadot.gov/i380.
 
Roadway: U.S. 63
County: Black Hawk
U.S. 63 will be reconstructed from Newell/Conger Street to Donald Street at the north edge of Waterloo. During April and early May, U.S. 63 will be detoured. The detour route will be from the junction of U.S. 63 and U.S. 218 northwest to Airport Boulevard, north on Airport Boulevard to West Airline Highway, and then east on West Airline Highway to U.S. 63. From early May to October, traffic from Newell Street to Donald Street will be in a two-lane, two-way configuration.
 
Roadway: U.S. 63
County: Black Hawk
U.S. 63 will be reconstructed from just south of Hudson north to U.S. 20. U.S. 63 traffic will be detoured. The project will be constructed in stages. When the north section of the project is under construction, the detour route will begin at the intersection of U.S. 63 and Iowa 58 at the south edge of Hudson, north on Iowa 58 to U.S. 20, then east on U.S. 20 to U.S. 63. When the south section is being constructed, the detour route will begin at the intersection of U.S. 63 and Black Hawk County Road D-46, east on Black Hawk County Road D-46 to Iowa 21, north on Iowa 21 to Black Hawk County Road D-35, and then west on Black Hawk County Road D-35 to U.S. 63 in Hudson.
 
Roadway: I-35
County: Franklin
Both the north- and southbound lanes of I-35 will be milled and resurfaced from the Iowa 3 Interchange north 6 miles to approximately 1.4 miles north of Franklin County Road C-25. This project will also involve bridge repair work approximately 0.2 mile north of Franklin County Road C-25. Traffic will be maintained by single lane closures in each direction.
 
Roadway: I-35
County: Worth
Both the north- and southbound lanes of I-35 will be milled and resurfaced from 0.9 mile north of Iowa 9, north 8.3 miles to 1.8 miles south of Worth County Road 105, and from Worth County Road 105 to the Minnesota state line. Traffic will be maintained by single lane closures in each direction.
 
Roadway Iowa 3
County: Fayette
A concrete overlay will be placed on Iowa 3 from the west Fayette County line to just west of the junction of Iowa 3 and Iowa 150. A detour route for northbound Iowa 150 will begin at the junction of Iowa 3 and Fayette County Road V-62, north to Fayette County Road C-33, and then east on Fayette C-33 to Iowa 150. A detour route for Iowa 3 will begin at the junction of Iowa 3 and Fayette County Road V-62, south on Fayette V-62 to Iowa 281, east on Iowa 281 to Iowa 150, and then north on Iowa 150 to Iowa 3.  
 
Northwest Iowa
Roadway: Interstate 29
County: Woodbury
I-29 in Sioux City continues to be reconstructed. Construction activities will be scattered throughout the entire I-29 corridor from the Signing Hills interchange north. Through traffic will be maintained at all times. Visit the project website for complete details at http://www.iowadot.gov/i29/index.htm.
 
Roadway: Iowa 86
County: Dickinson
Iowa 86 is being reconstructed in Dickinson County from Iowa 9 north to the Minnesota state line. The roadway is closed during construction. Traffic is being detoured on Iowa 9, U.S. 71 and Interstate 90 in Minnesota.
 
Roadway: U.S. 75
County: Plymouth
U.S. 75 will be reconstructed through Merrill. Traffic will be in a two-lane, two-way configuration through the project.
 
Eastern Iowa
Roadway: Interstate 80
County: Johnson
I-80 from I-380 to 1.5 miles east of the Iowa 1 interchange will have median barrier wall installed. Two lanes of traffic in each direction will be maintained through the project. There will also be interchange reconstruction at the Dubuque Street interchange. There will be detours for the interchange ramps.
 
Roadway: Interstate 80
County: Johnson
I-80 at the Oxford interchange (Johnson County Road W-38) will have bridge deck overlay work.Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction during peak hours. Single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours. One stage of the project will restrict lane width to 11 feet. The eastbound exit loop will be closed and a detour provided for a portion of the work.
 
Roadway: Interstate 380
County: Linn
I-380 from the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids north to Linn County Road E-34 will be resurfaced. There will also be bridge work as far south as U.S. 30. There will only be one lane open in each direction during the work. There will also be ramp closures. Work will be done during the night and on weekends to minimize impacts to traffic.
 
Roadway: U.S. 30
County: Linn
U.S. 30 from 1.6 miles west of I-380 will have deck overlay work. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction during peak hours. Single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours. One stage of the project will restrict lane width to 11 feet.
 
Roadway: U.S. 30
County: Clinton
U.S. 30 will be resurfaced from Wheatland to U.S. 61. Only one lane will be open to traffic in the work area. Traffic through the work area will be maintained with pilot car and flaggers.

Roadway: U.S. 30
County: Clinton
U.S. 30 (Camanche Avenue) will be reconstructed in Clinton from South 14th Street north to Fifth Street. Traffic will be maintained with a minimum of one lane in each direction.
 
Roadway: U.S. 52/61/151
County: Dubuque
The U.S. 52/61/151 project, from the U.S. 52 intersection to the Grandview Avenue interchange, involves replacement of the existing bridges spanning Catfish Creek and pavement, as well as improvements at the U.S. 52 intersection. Traffic will be in a two-lane, two-way configuration through the project.
 
Roadway: U.S. 20
County: Buchanan
U.S. 20 will be resurfaced from Iowa 150 at Independence to Iowa 187. Traffic will be maintained in a single lane in each direction.
 
Roadway: U.S. 20
County: Delaware
U.S. 20 will be resurfaced Iowa 38 in Delaware to Farley. Traffic will be maintained in a single lane in each direction.
 
South central/Southeast Iowa
Roadway: U.S. 34
Counties: Clarke and Union
U.S. 34 will be resurfaced with asphalt pavement from Union County Road P-64 in Thayer to I-35 in Clarke County. The work will be completed this year. Traffic will be maintained by flaggers and pilot cars.
 
Roadway: Interstate 35
County: Clarke
Two southbound I-35 bridges over Squaw Creek will be replaced, one 2.5 miles north of Iowa 152 and another 0.7 mile north of Iowa 152. Traffic will be in a two-lane, two-way configuration in the northbound lanes.
 
Roadway: Interstate 35
Counties: Clarke and Warren
I-35 from the Clarke County line north to St. Mary's will have high-tension cable guardrail placed in the median. Traffic will be maintained in a single lane in each direction.
 
Roadway: Interstate 35
County: Decatur
Southbound I-35 from Iowa 2 north to the Clarke County line will be closed for reconstruction. Traffic will be maintained in a two-lane, two-way configuration in the northbound lanes.
 
Roadway: U.S. 34
County: Wapello
U.S. 34 will be resurfaced from the Monroe County line east to Ottumwa. Through traffic will be maintained by flaggers and pilot cars.
 
Roadway: U.S. 34
County: Wapello
The superstructures of the U.S. 34 bridge over the Des Moines River in Ottumwa will be replaced. Traffic will be in a two-lane, two-way configuration on the bridge.
 
Roadway: Interstate 35
County: Warren
Construction work will be starting on a two-year project on southbound I-35 from 1.6 miles south of Cumming (Warren County Road G-14) interchange north to Iowa 5. A variety of traffic control measures will be in effect, including traffic shifts; temporary lane and ramp closures with detours.
 
Roadway: Interstate 35
County: Warren
The southbound I-35 bridge over the North River will be replaced. Traffic will be in maintained during construction using the existing north- and southbound lanes.
 
Roadway: U.S. 65
County: Warren
U.S. 65 from Liberty Center north to the east junction of Warren County Road G-58 will have paved shoulders placed. Traffic will be maintained by flaggers and pilot cars.
 
Roadway: U.S. 65
County: Wayne
U.S. 65 will be resurfaced from the Missouri state line north to Iowa 2. Through traffic will be maintained by flaggers and pilot cars.

Roadway: U.S. 34
County: Des Moines
U.S. 34 in Burlington will have paved shoulders constructed from West Mount Pleasant Street to Main Street. Traffic will be maintained with single lane and shoulder closures.
 
The Eighth Street bridge over U.S. 34 in Burlington will be closed for repairs and traffic detoured.
 
The Central Avenue bridge over U.S. 34 in Burlington will be repaired and traffic maintained with temporary traffic signals and flaggers.
 
Roadway: U.S. 61
County: Muscatine
The U.S. 61 Muscatine bypass will have paved shoulders constructed from Iowa 92 to Iowa 38 using single lane and shoulder closures.
 
Roadway: Iowa 92
County: Muscatine
The Mississippi River bridge in Muscatine will be repaired. Traffic will be maintained with temporary traffic signals and flaggers.
 
Roadway: Iowa 22
County: Muscatine
Iowa 22 will be milled and resurfaced from east of Iowa 38 to the east corporate limits of Muscatine. Traffic will be maintained using flaggers and pilot cars.
 
Southwest Iowa
Roadway: Interstate 29
County: Pottawattamie
I-29/I-80 from the Missouri River bridge in Council Bluffs east approximately 3 miles to the Lake Manawa/South Expressway interchange will undergo grading, paving and bridge construction work. Through traffic will be maintained. Single lane closures may occur during off-peak hours.
 
I-29 from north of Council Bluffs to the Missouri Valley (U.S. 30) interchange will be resurfaced at several locations. Through traffic will be maintained in a single lane.
 
I-29 will be reconstructed from south of Council Bluffs to the Mills County line. One direction of travel will be constructed at a time, with traffic maintained in a two-way, two-lane operation.
 
Roadway: Interstate 80
County: Cass
The eastbound I-80 bridge over Indian Creek at milepost 50 (west of the Marne interchange) will be replaced. Traffic will be maintained in a two-lane, two-way operation in the westbound lanes.
 
Roadway: Interstate 80
County: Adair
The eastbound I-80 bridge over Middle River at milepost 85 (west of the Greenfield interchange) will be replaced. Traffic will be maintained in a two-lane, two-way operation in the westbound lanes.
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News Headlines

Upcoming Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference on January 24th

Posted: Thu, January 10, 2019

It’s not too late to register! The Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference is an annual conference providing insight, idea sharing, education, and programming on all things Safe Routes to School. 6 years running, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition brings together partners and collaborators from across the state to network, learn, share ideas, and talk about best practices. This year, the Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference will be an opportunity to hear from a wide variety of professionals from public health (Angela Drent, Siouxland Public Health), transportation planning (Jeff Wiggins, City of Des Moines active transportation planner), advocates (Mike Armstrong, Des Moines Bike Collective), planners (Mindy Moore, Snyder & Associates), and Wellmark Healthy Hometown! 

We have a jam-packed day planned! Lunch will be provided for a small fee from "In-the-bag" catering. HERE  is the link to register! 

or: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/iowa-safe-routes-conference-2019-tickets-50912747398

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UPCOMING OPEN MEETING LAW SESSION

Posted: Thu, January 10, 2019

Upper Explorerland RPC is happy to bring back Jeff Schott, now retired as the Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa in May 2018 to host the basic laws and concepts that apply to city councils and boards and commissions, entitled Open Meeting Laws.  The session will be held on March 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 (noon) at the Postville YMCA.

 This two-hour training program includes the following topics:

 Legal Requirements: 

·       Open Meetings Law

·       Public records Law

·       Gift Law

·       Conflicts-of-Interest

·       Other Important Laws 

Doing What Is Right:

·       Duties and Responsibilities

·       Policy Development and Analysis

·       Policy and Program Evaluation and Oversight 

Strategies for Improving Performance:  

·       Strategies for Enhancing Effectiveness

·       Orientation

·       Teamwork

·       Decision-Making

·       Acting Strategically

Jeff Schott from 2006 - 2018, he had been responsible for delivery of the Institute of Public Affairs’ organizational improvement programs, including goal setting, strategic planning, council/board effectiveness training, educational programs and information, public management assistance, and staff training, to hundreds of local governments across Iowa.

Schott has been a featured presenter regarding local government issues and concerns at numerous conferences and workshops for organizations such as the Iowa League of Cities, Municipal Leadership Academies, National League of Cities, Iowa City/County Management Association, Iowa Parks and Recreation Association, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State Association of Counties, Northeast, South Central and Des Moines metro regional leagues, and many other state and regional groups.  Schott has been an adjunct instructor in the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Publications for which Schott has been responsible include the 2016, 2012 and 2008 editions of the Iowa Municipal Policy Leaders’ Handbook, a guide for mayors, council members and city staff in Iowa. The Handbook is designed to help municipal officials understand what is expected and required of them by explaining both the details and the “big picture” involved in being a municipal policy leader.  The Handbook describes the functions and services of Iowa cities, the laws governing municipal activities and contains explanations, tips, checklists, and lists of resources useful to city officials. It provides important information on a variety of critical topics, including: mayor and council roles, council meetings, dealing with the public, financial and budgetary administration, human resources, municipal services, economic development, planning and community development, and many other vital issues.

Please RSVP to Mary Huinker at mhuinker@uerpc.org or by calling 563-864-7551.

 

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UERPC December Newsletter

Posted: Mon, December 17, 2018

Some of the headlines you can read about this month include:

  • Highway Driving Safety Tips for Wildlife Collisions
  • UERPC Commission Members End Their Terms
  • Decorah's Community Visioning Designs Available for Viewing
  • Be the Change you Wish to See
  • Iowa Finance Authority Awards Funding to Housing Program
  • Beat the Blues Winter Marathon Starts January 1st
  • The UERPC offices will be closed December 24th and 25th and January 1st for the Holidays
  • Holiday Giving - Donating to your Local Food Bank

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Holiday Giving

Posted: Thu, December 13, 2018

Holiday Giving - Donating to your Local Food Pantry or Food Bank

The Holiday season often finds our thoughts turning to those in need.  Giving to a food pantry or food bank is a great way to give during the holidays and beyond.

For a complete listing of food panties or food banks in our area, please click below.

... [ Read More ]
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