Nov 28

Grandview bypass opened last week – UPDATED

The Muscatine Journal‘s coverage of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors earlier this month had a single paragraph mentioning that US 61 from the county line to 130th Street was expected to open Nov. 20. The new four-lane includes interchanges at IA 92 and at Louisa-Muscatine High School.

If it indeed has opened — and given the decent weather and customary Thanksgiving deadline, no reason it wouldn’t — it would have been nice to have a notice about it.

The Journal story was mostly about replacing the bridge for the former IA 99 across the Iowa River east of Wapello.

UPDATE: Jason Hancock, keeping an eye on traffic cameras set up along the new alignment, says it did not open until Dec. 1. This continues the nearly uninterrupted streak of a four-lane segment opening somewhere in Iowa every year for 60 years.

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Nov 27

Idle thoughts for the week

  • In retrospect, scheduling the physical for the Monday after Thanksgiving may not have been the brightest idea.
  • The Shopko (former Pamida) in Vinton was open for business with a semi-sizable crowd at 7:30 PM on Thanksgiving. Everyone voluntarily involved in that should reconsider things.
  • Because Thanksgiving was the second-earliest day it could be this year, the week following is still November, yet the networks see fit to make sure every Christmas special gets on TV now. Why?
  • Weekend news reports from Lincoln and Fayetteville:

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Nov 26

Video highlight of Saturday’s game

Bill Snyder has single-handedly whittled Kansas State’s series deficit against Iowa State to one game. He isn’t just a wizard, he’s a dang vampire, sapping our spirits.

(Michigan men, you think YOU have refs working against you? It is to laugh.)

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Nov 24

A brief from the Fashion Police

The blog graciously allocates some space for a public service. — Ed.

Attention shoppers,

On this, the holiest day of American capitalism, we must alert you to a holey plague that has gone on for a year at least, with no signs of slowing down.

Something needs to be done about the epidemic of holey pants. These atrocities often come under the guise of “distressed”, but take them for what they are: Signs of a lack of sense, or perhaps surrender. Remember grunge? How did that turn out for everyone?

No one naturally rips their jeans this way. No one should voluntarily expose their knees and legs to potential damage in this manner. Is this how you want to be presented to your children and grandchildren years hence? They’re already making fun of us in the future!

Please, for your country’s future and your own, do not purchase intentionally damaged goods, especially in the mid-two-figures range or more. The perpetrators, foreign or domestic, must be brought to justice. With your help, we can end this blight.

Then we’ll redirect our attention to the flat-billed caps and blouses with holes in the shoulders.

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Nov 22

Grand Junction overpass finished

US 30 on the east side of Grand Junction opened a week ago (via Greene County News Online).

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Nov 21

Short life for ’90s country station

Remember how excited I was that I found a radio station playing real country music that isn’t on the airwaves anymore?

Well, that was short-lived. The changeover happened while I was on vacation.

iHeartMedia has flipped Classic Country 1360 KMJM Cedar Rapids IA to Adult Standards “Leo 1360“.

Now it’s an oldies station, tilting toward the old end of the oldies. I’ve heard Frank Sinatra twice.

While on the subject of Iowa radio, I also wanted to ask, what happened to the BBRE on KXEL? Turns out he left, but the only way I found that out was on a message board.

Also also, KDAT (104.5) started Christmas music on Thursday and KMYR (104.1) started Friday. Nowadays, that counts as restraint.

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Nov 20

Des Moines wants a big-city trait

Des Moines doesn’t charge for parking in the ramps or on the streets on weekends, which was a benefit for me. But part of that is going to change.

Tonight, the Des Moines City Council will have the first of three readings on an ordinance that will make Saturday just another day of the week as far as meter enforcement is concerned. See also this Register story. The rates will not change in 2018.

There’s also an item in the council budget “to permit the sale of a portion of Southridge Mall for a multiple-family housing project” which is interesting; I presume it’s about the undeveloped space to the south. The movie theater to the southeast (and the Younkers) would preclude anything abutting the mall, I presume. The paperwork for that item mentions “sidewalk connections to Southridge Mall and DMACC” and DMACC is in the southwest corner of the mall that used to be J.C. Penney. The Sears on the east side closed in August 2016.

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Nov 17

New Sabula bridge opens today

September 27, 2015: My last trip across the Savanna-Sabula Bridge, before any major construction began on its replacement.

A ribbon cutting for the new US 52/IA 64 bridge over the Mississippi River, officially known as the Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge, will be at 1 PM today. That’s from; there was nothing about it on the Iowa DOT’s news page.

This is the third Iowa border bridge to have “Veterans Memorial” in its name, and the first on the east side. That table will be updated once demolition of the old bridge is known.

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Nov 16

Two diverging diamond exits proposed for Linn County

The six-lane I-380 through Cedar Rapids begins/ends at the Blairs Ferry Road exit, which is partially integrated into the IA 100 volleyball interchange. However, with growth in Hiawatha, that is not sufficient for the northern part of the metro area.

A DOT meeting tonight in Hiawatha is “to evaluate improvement alternatives” for I-380 between IA 100 and County Road E34 (County Home Road). (Direct link to project statement PDF) However, the project display (PDF) goes a step further, showing three diverging diamond interchange concepts for the Boyson Road exit and then a diverging diamond and regular diamond for a new exit at Tower Terrace Road. The latter is at the tail end of the current five-year plan (2022) but expanding the mainline to six lanes would not happen until after that.

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Nov 15

Accident report site has a typo

The Iowa State Patrol has a website that includes two weeks’ worth of official crash reports statewide. The site can be searched by date, type of accident, or county. There’s a map on the main page that shows how patrol districts are divided up, but there’s one thing amiss: Oelwein is misspelled.


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