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Sioux City Council hears update about Gordon Drive viaduct replacement plans

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Gordon Drive Viaduct

Traffic passes over Sioux City's Gordon Drive viaduct, built in 1937 and expanded in the '60s. The Iowa Department of Transportation plans to replace the 3,970-foot long viaduct, which spans railroad tracks, city streets and the Floyd River.

SIOUYX CITY  -- State transportation officials updated Sioux City Council members Tuesday about a project to replace the Gordon Drive viaduct.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is looking at options to replace the 3,979-foot-long viaduct, built in 1937 and improved in 1963 and 1966. Options include building a new, 98-foot-wide viaduct directly to the south of the current one, or demolishing and rebuilding it in the same location.

"We are looking at options that will cause the least amount of interruptions for the city, its residence, natural resources and cultural resources," IDOT District 3 transportation planner Dakin Schultz told the council, which gathered for a retreat Tuesday at the Siouxland Expo Center. "We are also looking at costs."

The viaduct, which carries 20,000 vehicles daily, is in need of replacement, rather than simply adding on to it as in past improvements, the IDOT has said. The route enabled motorists, coming into and out of downtown, to safely cross over waterways and railroad tracks for more than 80 years.

The state is also developing a plan with city officials to replace the Bacon Creek conduit, built in 1909, which is beneath Gordon Drive and is thought to be in very poor condition.

In addition, the IDOT has been listening to the comments of property owners whose businesses will likely be impacted by the construction. 

"Decisions won't need to happen right away," Schultz said, "but we need to be conscious of our aging infrastructure."  

No action was taken by the council on the viaduct or any other item on its agenda for the Tuesday afternoon retreat.



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