Thanks to the B.V. County Supervisors and County Engineer John Ites, a project advocated by the Storm Lake Chamber for some time has become a reality, the lighting of the intersections along the Highway 71 bypass.
Buena Vista County engineer John Ites reported that two "destination" or "intersection marker" lights were recently installed at the C-49 intersection with Highway 71, plus two more at the Milwaukee intersection with the bypass. A single light has also been installed at the north intersection of Business 71 and Highway 71.
Ites said the county paid a total of about $8,000 for the installation of the five lights and will pay a total of about $500 per year to cover the cost of electricity at the sites.
Soon after the Highway 71 bypass was opened, the Chamber's original "bypass committee" (fore-runner to the Gateway Committee) approached both the County and the State Department of Transportation at various meetings about lighting the intersections as a safety measure. The Chamber also felt lighting was important to help call attention to the entrance points to Storm Lake from the bypass. The committee had also pushed the DOT to create the turning lane off of Highway 71 onto Business 71 at the north intersection which was completed last year.
"Over the years the Chamber has worked on many projects, including this one, and it is gratifying to all who worked on this to have it come to fruition, even though it took some time," said Chris Nolte, Chamber and Storm Lake Area Development CEO. He added, "We are very appreciative to the B.V. County Board of Supervisors and the Engineer's office for making this important lighting project a reality, which is good not only for Storm Lake, but also for those who travel on Highway 71."