AMES, Iowa — There's some good news for Des Moines drivers. Your morning commute might be getting a little bit easier, thanks to some proposed improvements to U.S. Highway 69.
The changes would run from the Warren County Line in Des Moines to I-80 in Polk County. There's a lot of proposed additions, mostly focused on making the road safer.
"Our number one goal is safety. So this is a high traffic corridor. The higher the traffic, there's a greater chance for crashes," said Tony Gustafson, District 1 engineer for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
So, what all is being considered? New left and right turn lanes. Roundabouts. Medians. Adaptive traffic light timing--all designed to make the highway as safe and flexible as possible for a growing population.
"We've got numbers you know in the 60,000 plus corridor, so it's, it's a heavy, very important corridor for commuters through Des Moines, for the businesses along the highway, for the schools along the highway," Gustafson said.
One other addition may come as a bit of a surprise— new bike and pedestrian lanes. There would be three total shared-used paths throughout the highway. The DOT has been seeing an increased demand for this sort of option.
"The study recommended some off corridor or off-US Highway 69, where the traffic is less for some of those other modes of transportation because there is a keen interest in transportation besides in your vehicles," Gustafson said.
All these changes won't be happening overnight. Even the shortest-term project in the new proposal could take anywhere from 5 to 7 years to pan out.
If you'd like to review the materials and provide feedback to the Iowa DOT, the link to that information can be found here.
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