Archives: December 2019
December 30, 2019
If your merriment includes alcohol, please be smart about how you’re going to get from one party to the next or home at the end of the night. Since a couple of drinks have a way of changing the way you view your abilities, making a plan BEFORE the festivities begin is always the best option.
December 23, 2019
December 23, 2019
Many people would like to air their grievances about the speed at which others on the road around them are moving. With weather concerns and holiday parties, the combinations of tricky road conditions and impaired thinking are made so much worse when you add speed to the mix.
December 20, 2019
This time of year, the lines at area car washes grow on any day where temperatures rise. If you think keeping your personal vehicle maintained in Iowa’s winter conditions is tough, image how challenging it can be for the fleet of more than 900 snowplows maintained by the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Our snowplow trucks are out in the harshest of weather conditions, plowing snow and applying rock salt and brine, a salt and water mixture, to help keep you moving. Keeping roads clear takes its toll on the equipment.
“Each of our snowplow trucks costs about $170,000 to purchase. With more than 900 trucks in our fleet, that’s a very large investment,” said Tina Greenfield of the Maintenance Bureau. “Our goal is to keep each vehicle 12 to 15 years, so maintaining those vehicles in good working conditions is a top priority.”
December 17, 2019
Good partnerships benefit all those involved. Over the years, the Iowa Department of Transportation has developed some pretty unique solutions to improve wintertime mobility and highway safety using partnerships with dozens of farmers statewide.
Back in the 1980s, our field forces began working with farmers who held fields along state highways in open areas where the terrain is open and flat to create the standing corn program. The partnerships involved the farmer planting corn that can be left in fields during the winter to serve as snow fences that slow down or stop snow from blowing and drifting across the road. More recently, this cooperative effort has included using round bales as snow fences, as well.
December 16, 2019
Driver distraction has been an issue since the first vehicle tires hit the road. Whether the distraction was eating or drinking behind the wheel, dealing with a child in the backseat, holding a conversation with a passenger, or simply getting lost in thought, distractions are not new.
What has changed in the past decade is the increase in driver distraction caused by handheld devices. That mini-computer many can’t seem to put down opens up a world of communication and information at our fingertips but has also contributed to the rise in distracted driving crashes and fatalities.
December 11, 2019
We all know Iowa is an amazing place to live, but how can we communicate that to the world? Location and Environment Bureau Director Tammy Nicholson was recently able to show Iowa nice to more than 42,000 scouts from all over the world at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.
Nicholson and her husband, Kent, who works in the Bureau of Design, are no strangers to scouting. Both of their sons are Eagle scouts and the couple has led countless scout groups over the years, but this experience was once in a lifetime for Tammy.
December 9, 2019
Nearly 40 years after it was originally proposed, the U.S. 52 project, known to locals as the Southwest Arterial, in Dubuque is nearing completion. The joint project between the Iowa Department of Transportation and the City of Dubuque proves that perseverance pays off.
Connecting local industrial centers to each other and the rest of the Midwest and the world is the driving force for completion of this 6.1-mile, four-lane divided freeway that will provide and modern transportation alternative through southwestern Dubuque, linking the Dubuque Technology Park on US 61/151 with the new Dubuque Industrial Center West and the existing Dubuque Industrial Center near U.S 20.
December 9, 2019
Does it surprise you that about 35 percent of the people killed on Iowa highways so far this year weren’t wearing seat belts? That’s 78 people (as of Dec. 4) who won’t be opening gifts or eating Christmas dinner with family and friends this year. All because they neglected to make that simple click.
Obviously, some crashes are so horrific that not even a seat belt is going to save a life, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says seat belts dramatically reduce the risk of death and serious injury. Among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 percent and cut the risk of serious injury by 50 percent. People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash and 75 percent of people who are ejected in a crash don’t survive.