The U.S. Highway 20 Corridor Association has some fresh momentum in the effort to get the remaining 100-mile segment of the highway in northwest Iowa paved into a four-lane expressway, thanks to the Iowa Legislature.
Both the Iowa Senate and House passed concurrent resolutions this session supporting the four-lane project. The majority party in each house also signed on. Local Representative Mary Lou Freeman and Senator Steve Kettering each served as co-sponsors of the resolution in their respective houses.
The lawmakers said that the project is vital to economics and traffic flow, as "a good investment for all of Iowa and the nation..."
Freeman also addressed the group at its most recent meeting in April, as did David Ehler, the assistant to Congressman Steve King at King's Storm Lake headquarters office.
The Iowa Statehouse voting should support comments in Gov. Tom Vilsack's 2010 Comission report, according to the highway project proponents. Goal number four in the 2010 plan calls for the development of an "Enviromental Corridor Comprehensive Plan for Highway 20" from Dubuque to Sioux City. "This model for the future would link 50 communities, protect natural resources, enhance wildlife habitat, promote tourism, attract business, support agriculture and beautify the landscape," the report states.
Congressman King testified recently for the transportation sub-committee, requesting a special appropriation of $240 million to the new federal roads program. Congressman Tom Latham has called for a $210 appropriation as well.
City, business and econmic development leaders from Storm Lake and other northwest Iowa communities continue to support the association's effort, labeling the completion of a four-lane Highway 20 corridor as crucial to the economic future of the entire region.
Members of the Highway 20 group from the Fort Dodge and Sioux City areas have scheduled trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the project.
Storm Lake will host the next meeting for the association, May 23, 10 a.m. at Baker's Court. All interested persons are welcome to attend. Those who wish to join in a meal should RSVP to 712-662-7383. An election of new board members is expected.