SIOUX CENTER, Iowa | Voters in Sioux Center on Tuesday narrowly killed a proposal to borrow $4 million to advance widening of U.S. Highway 75 running north and south through the center of town.
Bond issues need a 60 percent majority to pass in Iowa. Tuesday's vote fell short, with 56.4 percent of Sioux Center voters cast affirmative ballots. The total was 901 voting for the measure and 695 against it.
The ballot measure was the latest step in efforts to move ahead with the long-sought Highway 75 widening project.
City Manager Paul Clousing and others sought the highway modernization to prod city growth. A community group preferred a slower approach, saying a few tweaks to modernize the highway would be better.
If passed, the $4 million would have been used to develop a plan to expand about one mile of U.S. 75.
A highway study showed traffic totals would grow from the current 12,000 vehicles per day to 15,000-17,000 vehicles per day by 2035.
The highway's current alignment -- one lane of traffic each way with a center left-turn lane, parking on both sides of the street in the business district -- has a capacity of 15,000 vehicles per day, according to the study, completed by Snyder & Associates Inc., of Ankeny, Iowa.
The consultant suggested an expanded four-lane alignment with two lanes of traffic in each direction, turning lanes, medians with vegetation, lighted crosswalks and parking on one side in the business district. No final design has been reached.
A 2013 widening plan for a $6.7 million expansion of the same stretch of U.S. 75 to five lanes was tabled after public concerns.