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Fresh hope for US 20, backers gather in area

Monday, May 16, 2005

The U.S. 20 Corridor Association will meet this Friday, May 13, 2005, at 10 a.m. in Holstein's Lohff Schuman Rec Center. A full agenda includes discussion of Access Iowa Highways legislation, reports on lobbying trips to Washington, DC, plans for a ribbon cutting in July, election of board members and officers, as well as a visit from Iowa gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats.

State Senator Steve Warnstadt (D-Sioux City) and his colleagues Senator Jeff Angelo (R-Creston), Senator Daryl Beall (D-Fort Dodge), and Senator Steve Kettering (R-Lake View) successfully re-introduced Access Iowa Highways legislation on May 4, 2005.

"The Senate took action to indicate the importance of Highway 20. We passed an amendment that restores the language regarding Access Iowa Highways - giving preference to those areas on the commercial industrial network connecting cities with over 20,000 population some preference in expansion to four-lane status," Senator Warnstadt explained. "It clearly indicates the desire of the legislature that when the DOT builds four-lane highways, Highway 20 is a priority. The language must now go to the House for their consideration."

As a result of the Senate's action, members of the U.S. 20 Corridor Association are lobbying their state representatives to consider and approve Access Iowa Highways at the House reconvenes this week.

"We appreciate the legislators who work with us to send a strong signal regarding the importance of completing U.S. 20 as a four-lane across the state," said Shirley Phillips, president of the US 20 Association and executive director of Sac (County) Economic and Tourism Development.

On the federal level, delegations from Fort Dodge and Siouxland recently completed lobbying trips to the nation's capital. Each group went with a message of support for completing the four-lane U.S. 20 in northwest Iowa and asked their elected representatives to continue to provide earmarks for this highway project. Reports from both delegations will be presented at the meeting.

Read the rest in the May 12 Pilot Tribune

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