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Dubuque Highway Construction Worries Neighbors

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DUBUQUE, Iowa - A major highway reconstruction project planned in Dubuque has people in one neighborhood worried. They say for the next two years, their residential road will have as much traffic as a state highway.

Next week, the Iowa Department of Transportation will begin a major bridge reconstruction project on Highway 151/61 through Dubuque.
It's on the busy stretch of highway as it crosses over the Catfish Creek. The D.O.T will first close the southbound lanes between Highway 52 and Grandview Avenue, leaving open only one lane of traffic in each direction.

Nearby, Rockdale Road is a road that a lot of people already take to Highway 151/61. The closure could mean big problems for people who live and work on Rockdale Road.

The old drive by method is Dubuque Power Equipment's best form of advertising. It is situated near the corner of Rockdale and Old Mill Roads.

"There's 12 to 19 thousand cars that go by here each day, " Karen Ohnesorge, owner of Dubuque Power Equipment, said.

But quadruple that number and Ohnesorge worries traffic would become too much of a good thing.

"The customers are going to have a problem getting in and out and that might divert them somewhat," said Ohnesorge.

A few blocks north Lance Kirk and his family live on Rockdale Road.

"People don't realize the speed limit is 25 miles per hour, " Kirk said.

But even as cars whip past his house, he understands the need for upgrades on the highway.

"The road is very bad," said Kirk. "I've drive it different times. "

The Iowa Department of Transportation has not set up a detour route because there will still be one lane open, in each direction, at all times.They're strongly discouraging drivers from taking Rockdale because that road is not designed to hold up in heavy highway traffic.

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