Old Dubuque could close in August

Board of Supervisors
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Jones County will likely close the Old Dubuque Road/Highway 151 entrance/exit in the beginning of August.

     Per the recommendation of County Engineer Derek Snead and Sheriff Greg Graver, the west side of the dangerous intersection will be closed as early as Aug. 3 before the start of the school year.

     In November 2019, Deputy County Treasurer Shelli Gray lost her life in an automobile accident at this intersection. Following that tragic incident, Snead, Graver, county and Anamosa officials have been working together to come up with a solution to close off the Old Dubuque Road access.

     Snead said while the City of Anamosa has bigger plans for that particular area, he urged the Jones County Supervisors to close the road off sooner rather than later.

     The board will take formal action at their next meeting.

     “Anamosa is aggressively pursuing a project to further connect Old Dubuque with Circle Drive and close the intersection,” explained Snead during the June 16 board of supervisor meeting. “It’s turned into quite a development and future-planning type of project.”

     Snead said what the Anamosa City Council is proposing would allow for business and residential expansion on the outskirts of the city.

     While Snead is recommending closing the west-wide entrance, he said the median would remain in place for drivers to use to head south.

     “This will definitely reduce traffic access on Old Dubuque and force them to access the Highway 64 interchange,” said Snead.

     Having the board take action now gives the public and community plenty of time to learn an alternative route into Anamosa. Snead said they’d also look into erecting advance-warning signs a few days in advance. A DOT gate will also be placed on Old Dubuque Road, about 100 feet from the intersection.

     “We’ll coordinate with the DOT to set up all of the requirements,” said Snead. “This is a very dangerous intersection, and the longer it’s open, someone else will get hurt out there. Timing is everything.”

     Graver said following a public meeting last fall, behind the scenes, more people than not wanted to see the intersection closed.

     He also praised Snead and Assistant County Engineer Todd Postel for all of their work with the DOT in getting this done swiftly.

     “We tried to do something 12 years ago and failed miserably,” Graver recalled. “We’re where we are today because of our engineers’ involvement.”

     Graver said it would behoove the county for the supervisors to also be supportive of the effort in closing the intersection down.

     He also alluded to continued county support of some sort of project once the intersection is closed.

     Snead said Anamosa city officials are not opposed to closing Old Dubuque Road in early August.

     He added that any project the city does tackle would likely take a few years and a lot of funding.

     “This moved a lot quicker than I thought,” praised Supervisor Jon Zirkelbach.

     “It’s really a benefit to the citizens of Jones County,” added Supervisor Joe Oswald.

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