Project History

1987     Initial efforts to develop a highway southwest of the City, between U.S. 61/151 and U.S. 20, began in 1987 with the completion of the first environmental assessment for the Cedar Cross Arterial alignment.
 
•  The Cedar Cross Arterial project was never advanced because policymakers determined that an arterial farther to the west would better serve the community’s needs.
1996     In November 1996, to address the policymakers’ issues with the Cedar Cross Arterial alignment, a location study was conducted by the Iowa DOT for a more westerly highway alignment between U.S. 61/151 and U.S. 20, the Southwest Arterial Environmental Assessment (EA) was initiated.
1999     In January 1999, the Environmental Assessment for the Improvement of Iowa Highway 32 (1999 EA) was completed; however no Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued.
2000     In June, 2000, the Iowa DOT Commission concluded that the Southwest Arterial should connect to US 20 farther west than the Northwest Arterial Connection.  The Commission directed IDOT staff to study a new route west of the former FDR Park and west of Seippel Road.
2002     In February 2002, Iowa DOT stopped work on the project and determined that the Southwest Arterial is roadway is no longer being considered as a future highway project.

In May 2002, Iowa DOT executed an agreement with the City and the County for completion of the Addendum to the 1999 EA.

• The Southwest Arterial as currently proposed (the Project) would create a direct connection on the southwest side of the City, between U.S. 61/151 and U.S. 20, but on a different alignment than considered in the past, new alternatives, E and E – Design Variation 1
2003     The City was awarded a Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) Surface Transportation Program Grant in the amount of $1,987,000 to complete the Preliminary Engineering Design Phase for the Southwest Arterial.
2004     In May 2004, the City began the consultant selection process for the Preliminary Engineering Design phase for the Southwest Arterial.
2005     In February of 2005, the City received the issuance of Environmental Concurrence and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the various regulatory agencies and has completed the Environmental Assessment phase of the project.

The City began the Preliminary Engineering Design phase for the Southwest Arterial.

On August 10, 2005, the President signed into law the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). As a result of hard work from Dubuque’s Congressional delegation, Congressman Nussle, and Senators Grassley and Harkin secured $28.6 Million as part of the SAFETEA-LU Bill for the Southwest Arterial project.  This funding included the transfer of $5.5 million in unused SAFETEA-LU grant funding for the U.S. 20 Bridge to the Southwest Arterial project as part of the federal Technical Corrections Bill.
2008     The Preliminary Engineering Design phase for the Southwest Arterial was completed.
2009     On March 2, 2009, the City approved the selection of AECOM to complete the final engineering design phase. On August 27, 2009, the City received official Iowa DOT notification that the FHWA has given approval for AECOM to proceed with the final design phase.

In August 2009, as part of the final design phase of the Southwest Arterial, the Iowa DOT and the FHWA required that a formal Value Engineering Study be conducted.  The primary objective of the Study was to identify potential modifications that might decrease the construction cost or to increase the value of the project.

Through the support and partnership of U.S. Senator Harkin, U.S. Senator Grassley and Congressman Braley, the City was awarded a $389,533 appropriation as part of the 2009 Federal Supplemental Appropriations THUD Bill for the Southwest Arterial Project.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the City elected to appropriate all of the local transportation funding distribution as part of ARRA in the amount of $2.9 million to the Southwest Arterial project for the acquisition of right-of-way property.

On May 15, 2009, the City received official Iowa DOT notification that the FHWA has given approval and authorization to proceed with right-of-way property acquisition for the fifty-six (56) impacted properties. In September 2009 the first property was acquired for the Southwest Arterial Project.

2010     Through the support and partnership of U.S. Senator Harkin, U.S. Senator Grassley and Congressman Braley, the City was awarded a $950,000 appropriation as part of the 2010 Federal Supplemental Appropriations Omnibus Bill for the Southwest Arterial Project.

In August 2010, the City Council awarded the Southwest Arterial - North Cascade Road Reconstruction Project to C.J. Moyna & Sons, Inc. of Elkader, Iowa, in the amount of $1,591,521.32.  This phase of construction provided for the reconstruction (grading & paving) and realignment of North Cascade Road from about 0.6 miles south of the Storybook Hill Children’s Zoo to 0.1 miles north of the zoo.
2011     In January 2011, the City Council awarded the Southwest Arterial - North Cascade Road Bridge Project to Minnowa Construction, Inc. of Harmony, MN, in the amount of $1,408,542.50.  The realigned section of North Cascade Road will have a new bridge constructed which will allow the future Southwest Arterial to cross under North Cascade Road.
2013     A significant accomplishment for the Southwest Arterial project was the execution of the Memorandum of Understanding, which was formalized with a signing ceremony on August 9, 2013. This historic achievement would not have occurred without the collaborative partnership between the Iowa DOT staff and the City.

The North Cascade Road project was substantially completed November, 2013. The project provided for the reconstruction (grading, paving, and bridge) and realignment of North Cascade Road which will allow the Southwest Arterial to travel under the new North Cascade Road Bridge.
2015     The relocation of the 8” and 16” high pressure natural gas pipeline which was impacted by the English Mill Road Reconstruction Project was completed by Black Hills Energy Corporation (BHE), in the final contract amount of $1,444,481.40

In July 2015, the City Council awarded the Southwest Arterial - English Mill Road Reconstruction Project to Taylor Construction, Inc. of New Vienna, Iowa, in the amount of $3,536,064.29.  The English Mill Road reconstruction project is the second side-road reconstruction project administered by the City as part of the Southwest Arterial project.  The project will provide for the reconstruction (grading, bridge and paving) and realignment of English Mill Road.  Since English Mill Road will travel over the future Southwest Arterial, the project will also include the construction of a new bridge on English Mill.
2016     Property acquisition was completed in August 2016 for the 56 impacted along the Southwest Arterial corridor between U.S. 61/151 and U.S. 20.