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INDEPENDENCE – The first phase of the 2021 Highway 150 construction project has begun with work on the utilities. Gas and electrical lines are in the process of being moved a few feet back from the roadway. Iowa DOT digital signs are in place announcing the closure of Highway 150 (aka 5th Avenue NE) from 12th Street (by the Buchanan County Tourism Depot) to 7th Street NE.

According to the project manager for Dave Schmitt Construction, that portion of the road is expected to be closed through June. In July, construction will move south to work on the next portion. The 2021 project, from the railroad tracks to 1st Street, is to be completed by November 1.

Northbound Detour

Local vehicles traveling northbound through the city will be directed at the “bank corners” downtown to stay on 3rd Avenue NE. At 10th Street NE (at Wapsie Valley Creamery), they will be directed one block west to 2nd Avenue NE. On 2nd Avenue, they will proceed north just across the railroad tracks and turn east on 11th Street NE, returning to Highway 150 (5th Avenue NE).

Southbound Detour

Local vehicles traveling southbound through the city will be directed to turn west on 12th Street NE (by the fairgrounds) and proceed to 2nd Avenue NE. They will proceed south all the way to 1st Street. The final leg is to turn east for a block to 3rd Avenue SE (Highway 150) and continue on their way.

Motorists should be on the lookout for new traffic control signs like the “Stop” sign added on 2nd Avenue NE at 10th Street NE (Pat’s Tap corner).

The 2022 Highway 150 project will close 3rd Avenue SE in portions from 1st Street (bank corners) to 8th Street SE (by the Independence RV campground).

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