DOT Panel Green Lights Sibley, IA, Bypass

Mon September 22, 2003 - National Edition

AMES, IA (AP) The Iowa Transportation Commission has voted unanimously to approve final planning on the $38-million Sibley bypass project along Iowa Highway 60 in Northwest Iowa.

The vote Tuesday allows planners to draft final designs, although completion of the project still relies on the availability of federal funding.

Grading work to prepare the 9.23-mi. (14.8 km), four-lane stretch is scheduled to start in 2005 with paving set to be completed in late 2006.

The bypass is designed to branch from existing Iowa 60 south of Sibley, run east of the city and rejoin the current route near the Minnesota border. The bypass is expected to handle more than 4,000 vehicles per-day, with 29 percent of that traffic made up of freight-hauling trucks, transportation department officials said.

The Sibley project is part of an overall, three-decades-long effort to create a four-lane corridor stretching from Omaha, NE to Minneapolis. Sibley’s industrial park is just over a mile from a planned bypass interchange. And a trip on the new four-lane to Interstate 90 is expected to take 15 minutes.