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Junction of US Highway 122 and Interstate 35 updates (1)

Roadwork is underway on either side of the Interstate 35 exchange at U.S. Highway 122 in Clear Lake as part of an improvement project to update traffic signals and widen each the exit ramps, creating two distinct lanes. 

A construction project on U.S. Highway 18 in Clear Lake is costing the city nearly $160,000 more than it budgeted.

That’s what Scott Flory, Clear Lake city administrator, told the City Council earlier this week.

“They had the big letting on that project, and it came in quite a bit higher than we budgeted for our share of that project,” he said.

The Iowa Department of Transportation awarded the project to Wicks Construction Inc., of Decorah, for nearly $1.6 million, which is $309,569, or 24%, more than the engineer’s estimate.

In March, the city signed a pre-construction agreement with the IDOT that stated the first $500,000 of the project will be paid by Traffic Safety Improvement Program funds and the remainder will be split 50-50 between the city and the state.

Clear Lake’s portion of the project will be about $550,000, instead of the $390,050 originally estimated.

“Most of that, if not all of that, determined out was the cost of the traffic signal itself, new signal being added and the other signal improvements,” Flory said.

Junction of US Highway 122 and Interstate 35 updates (2)

Roadwork is underway on either side of the Interstate 35 exchange at U.S. Highway 122 in Clear Lake as part of an improvement project to update traffic signals and widen each the exit ramps, creating two distinct lanes. 

A memo from Clear Lake Public Works Director Joe Weigel to Flory dated Aug. 28 states an email has been sent to the IDOT asking if the state will cover the cost beyond the engineer’s estimate “since the city was not consulted prior to the award to agree to the additional costs,” but a response hadn’t been received.

Flory said a budget amendment will be presented later this fiscal year related to the project.

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The project, which started Tuesday, involves safety and operational improvements at the three intersections on Highway 18 between North 24th Street and North 32nd Street, said Pete Hjelmstad, IDOT District 2 field services coordinator.

Traffic signals will be added at the intersection of Highway 18 and the southbound Interstate 35 ramps. Improvements will be made to the other two. The southbound Interstate 35 off-ramp will be widened and a right-turn lane will be added, he said.

Junction of US Highway 122 and Interstate 35 updates (3)

Roadwork is underway on either side of the Interstate 35 exchange at U.S. Highway 122 in Clear Lake as part of an improvement project to update traffic signals and widen each the exit ramps, creating two distinct lanes. 

Offset left-turn lanes, like those at the North 32nd Street, will be added on eastbound and westbound Highway 18 “to improve sight lines” at North 24th Street and the north and south I-35 ramps.

Hjelmstad said the three signals will be synced, so traffic will flow better through there.

No detours are planned for the project, but multiple lane closures are anticipated. Motorists are encouraged to pay attention while driving through the work zone.

The project is expected to be completed in November, Hjelmstad said.

For more travel information and updates in North Iowa, visit www.511ia.org.

North Iowa Nine: What's happening in North Iowa (with photos)

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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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