Springville, DOT in disagreement on how to improve dangerous intersection

SPRINGVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - Springville residents said they're not accepting the Iowa Department of Transportation's proposal for redoing a dangerous intersection.

The DOT came to eastern Iowa Tuesday afternoon to present an updated plan to help improve the safety of the main road leading into town.

The intersection has been the site of dozens of crashes over the last 15 years.

"I'm here because my husband lost his life at this intersection February fourth, 2009," said Amy Bartels.

Bartels said what happened to her husband is just waiting to happen to someone else.

"He was wearing this coat," said Bartels. "You could see the car that killed him drove through his window and crushed his coat. There's paint from her vehicle on his coat but no blood on this because his neck broke and his heart stopped beating before he could bleed."

Many of the people in the room would prefer something that they could implement right away: reduce the speed from 55 mph to 45 mph and add a stop light at the intersection of Highway 151 and Springville Road.

The Iowa DOT said those ideas aren't realistic and won't work. Representatives pointed to research, showing it would actually create more crashes.

The cost of adding an overpass with on and off ramps would cost about $17 millio. The timeline is unknown since it isn't in the DOT's five-year plan, though.

Bartels said the pattern of the many crashes is obvious and waiting shouldn't be an option.

"The accidents that happened here are all similar to what happened to him but if you don't do something there will be another fatality," said Bartels.

Before this overpass project could get funding, there needs to be a design meeting and appraisal. The DOT said it would take the community feedback, positive and negative, into consideration, too.