Speaking with the Jones County Supervisors June 16, Jones County Engineer Derek Snead said the county was eyeing a closure of the Old Dubuque Road intersection at the west side of Highway 151 come August.
The recommendation came after the meeting of the safety committee that had been put together to discuss the best way to move forward concerning the dangerous intersection. Jones County Engineer Derek Snead said a couple of factors went into the selection of the date to close the intersection then.
First, they wanted to make sure it was closed before the start of school. By setting the closure for August, is also gave enough time for the information to get out to the public. Snead said digital signs would likely be posted to warn of the closure.
“The longer we leave it open, it’s just the closer to the time that somebody else gets hurt out there,” Snead said. “We felt the time was now.”
The Sheriff Greg Graver said he’s had a lot of conversations with the public about the closure and gave a credit to Snead and the rest of the engineer’s office for the work they put in to come up with a plan for the future of the intersection. This time around, a plan was moving forward because of their work and the coalition of people put together to come up with a plan beyond just the closure of the dangerous intersection.
“It’s a very exciting time. There’s a lot of benefit,” Graver said of the revamped plan.
The cooperation between the city and the county, according to the sheriff, would continue once the intersection was closed, so the project doesn’t stall after the closure, and he thanked the supervisors for supporting the project.
Snead said to ensure that there weren’t any issues concerning needed access to the area for emergency vehicles, a special gate had been reserved by the Iowa Department of Transportation which would be able to be opened by emergency personnel about 100 feet from the intersection, along with other barriers announcing the road closure.
During the closure, the east side and the median would still remain open. If nothing was done about the intersection, there was the possibility of the Iowa Department of Transportation closing access to the median.
The move would have to be approved by both the Anamosa City Council and the Jones County Board of Supervisors.
Editor's note: The Jones County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the closure during their June 23 meeting. Full story in next week's paper.