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Public hearing on Highway 122 changes in Mason City to be held this month

Highway 122 and Monroe avenue in Mason City, looking east.
Highway 122 and Monroe avenue in Mason City, looking east.

AMES, Iowa – Oct. 1, 2013 – The Iowa Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing Thursday, Oct. 10, to discuss the proposed improvement of Iowa 122/Business U.S. 18 in Mason City from Monroe Avenue east to Carolina Avenue and to present the environmental assessment for the project study area.

All interested persons are invited to attend this hearing between 5 and 7 p.m. in the Mason City Room at the Mason City Library, 225 Second St. SE. This public hearing will be conducted utilizing a combined open forum and formal format. Iowa Department of Transportation and city staff will be present with plans, displays, and related information to discuss the project informally between 5 and 6 p.m. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend the hearing anytime during the informal session to express their views and ask questions about the proposed improvement.

Highway 122 and Carolina Ave.
Highway 122 and Carolina Ave. looking south.

A formal presentation will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a question-and-answer session. There will be a three minute limit per speaker during the question-and-answer session. Persons wishing to make a formal presentation will need to note that at the time of registration. Oral and written statements will be accepted during both the open forum and the formal sessions.

The meeting space is accessible for persons with disabilities. However, if you require special accommodations at the meeting, please notify the Iowa DOT contact listed below by Oct. 3.

For general information regarding the proposed improvement or public hearing, contact Krista Rostad, transportation planner, Iowa DOT District 2 Office, 1420 Fourth St. SE, Mason City, Iowa 50401, telephone 641-422-9447 or 800-477-4368, email krista.rostad@dot.iowa.gov.

From Iowa DOT: “All we have is the original 2012 concepts available. New drawings are being prepared for the fall meeting and will be released to the public on that date.”

Last update to NIT from Iowa DOT regarding the project (May 10, 2013):

Hello,

I was wondering where I can get some more information on the re-design of Highway 122 in Mason City. I know the city recently paid $20,000 for a study- I believe that was a federal study on the environment surrounding the highway?

Are there any plans designed for this redesign? I believe the area in question is Monroe Avenue east to Virginia Avenue.

Any information would be appreciated.
Thanks

Matt Marquardt, NorthIowaToday.com Publisher

RESPONSE:

I am able to provide an update for you on the IA 122 Environmental Assessment, the current study you are referring to below.

We have been conducting a National Environmental Policy Act study, or NEPA Study, on the corridor jointly with the city of Mason City. The city contributed $20,000 toward the cost, as you noted.

We are nearing completion of the study. We developed two concepts for pavement reconstruction on the one ways from Monroe Avenue eastward to Carolina Avenue. These concepts were displayed and discussed at a public meeting on June 14, 2012. We will be working to hold a public hearing early this fall to meet with the public ad reach a preferred alternative.

Elements of the study included an environmental review which looked at wetlands, endangered species, hazardous materials, historical and cultural interest items along the corridor. These are required items to examine and document in a NEPA study. The concepts looked at existing and projected traffic volumes, crash history and potential solutions, turning movements, ROW, entrances, signalization, pedestrian and bicycle considerations, unused parking areas, and turn lanes, to name the majority. The concepts include a Fire Department access road directly south of their garage doors for the trucks to immediately travel eastbound, straightening the tight curves near Massachusetts Avenue, and lane alignment on Pennsylvania Avenue intersecting with 5th Street.

The city of Mason City is strongly supporting bike lanes along the corridor to meet their Blue Zones Project Initiatives. Also, during the project, all sidewalk curb ramps will become ADA compliant, the city will consider their traffic signals and utilities for replacement as will the private utilities.

We do not have funding for construction of this project at this time. Design will be the next stage when the study is complete and approved by the Federal Highway Administration. We hope design can begin in the spring of 2014.

Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Krista Rostad
District 2 Transportation Planner
District 2 Office
1420 Fourth Street SE
Mason City, IA 50401

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