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Monday, May 2, 2016

C-38 bridges improve road safety

Thursday, December 6, 2012

With completion of two bridge replacements, construction on Plymouth County road C-38 is winding down for the season.

However, work will resume on the road next year when a concrete overlay is put on C-38, west from Highway 75 to the road's intersection with K-42.

C-38 reopened to through traffic last week after being closed since mid-May for replacement of two bridges west of Highway 75 and east of the railroad tracks.

Construction work on the bridges themselves is complete, however, earthwork and seeding continues.

Plymouth County Supervisor Craig Anderson said the C-38 bridges were replaced because of their deterioration and width.

"Those bridges were very dangerous," he said. "Two semis would literally take each other's mirrors off if they happened to meet on the bridge."

Both bridges were originally built in 1954, according to the county engineer's office.

"You have to keep the most traveled roads as safe as you can," Anderson said.

Based on a 2011 Iowa Department of Transportation traffic count, 970 vehicles a day travel on C-38 in the area of the bridges.

The $1.3 million cost of the bridge replacement project is being paid for with Tax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars from businesses such as Plymouth Energy, Plymouth Oil and Midwest Pms LLC, an animal feed manufacturer, in the TIF district, near Merrill.

Those driving over the new 201-by-30-foot bridge across the west branch of the Floyd River and the 150-by-30-foot bridge across Mink Creek on C-38 might notice some roughness.

That's due to temporary asphalt wedges placed on the bridge approaches because the new structures are higher than the roadway.

Next year's concrete overlay project on C-38 will make the roadway the same height as the bridges, Anderson explained.

Along with the overlay project, next year the county plans to pave K-42 south to Merrill, including the road's intersection with C-38, he said.

"There's a little bit of a bump there (at the intersection) so if you time it correctly there can be a car hidden," Anderson said.

The plan is to cut the height of the road down at the intersection to improve site distance.

"There's also going to be a turning lane put in there so the semis coming from the west can get turned without stopping the traffic that's behind them," Anderson explained.

Next year's concrete overlay on C-38, the intersection work and the paving on K-42 will all be paid for with TIF dollars from businesses in the TIF district.

The construction will require some road closings, however, the county will continue to provide access for local businesses and property owners in the area.

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