SIOUX CITY -- A delay in an eastern Iowa road project may free up money that could be used to widen U.S. Highway 20 in Siouxland.
About $60 million would be available if the Iowa Transportation Commission pulled out money to upgrade Interstate 74 near the Quad-Cities.
The possible change was brought up at a commission meeting on Tuesday. The seven-member board is developing a five-year funding plan for road projects.
Iowa Department of Transportation District 3 Engineer Tony Lazarowicz said supporters of other highway projects could try to nab the $60 million if it becomes available.
Lazarowicz said there was discussion Tuesday that the additional money could let the state start widening Highway 20 from Moville to Correctionville in 2014 rather than the planned 2015. Additionally, paving and grading near Correctionville could be moved from 2016 to 2015, Lazarowicz said.
The IDOT commissioners will see a proposed five-year plan at a May meeting, then vote on it in June.
Any change would require board approval.
"It is definitely not a done deal," Lazarowicz said
Highway 20 has 68 miles with two lanes in Northwest Iowa, from Rockwell City to Moville. The roadway is an important artery across the state.
Shirley Phillips, who heads the U.S. 20 Corridor Association, said the money would be a huge help for the region. The group is lobbying to expand the highway to four lanes across the entire width of Iowa.
The suggestion comes as a 26-mile section of the highway, from Rockwell City to Early, is set to be widened by December, sped up by a $750,000 incentive if the contractor finishes work by the end of the year. It was originally supposed to be finished by late 2013.
"We are just thrilled that they are moving along faster than we thought," Phillips said.