Never before in the history of the Iowa Highways Page were so many active highways removed from the state highway system in one year than in 2003.
In the past, roads could only be turned over from state to local control if an agreement was reached between the two parties and the road was brought up to an acceptable level of service, per Section 306.8 of the Iowa Code. On December 27, 2000, the Iowa Department of Transportation released a list of roads that they wanted to transfer to local control. Many of these roads were either (1) local service roads that served small towns of less than 1,000 people or state parks, or (2) old segments of US or state highways that were bypassed by newer four-lane highways. Local governments have been reluctant to accept control of these roads, primarily because they would have to deal with extra maintenance costs. Legislation to allow the state to turn over these unwanted roads was scheduled to be introduced in the 2003 Legislative session.
Before the session began several deals were made to transfer state highways to local jurisdictions so the counties and cities affected would receive fair compensation. The transfers in the following table of signed routes were approved before the bill became law. Most of the signs for these routes were taken down during the summer of 2003.
|IA 49||21||Taylor (from Adams County line to IA 2)|
|IA 102||16||Mahaska (entire route outside of New Sharon)*|
|IA 107||18||Cerro Gordo (south city limits of Clear Lake to Franklin County line)*|
|IA 122||4.5||Cerro Gordo (east city limits of Mason City to Floyd County line)|
|IA 142||20.9||Appanoose (entire route)|
|IA 195||2.9||Pocahontas (entire route)|
|IA 314||6.3||Palo Alto (entire route)|
|IA 315||4.2||Pocahontas (entire route)|
|IA 316||6||Polk (from IA 163 to Runnells)|
|IA 371||0.7||Mahaska (entire route)|
|IA 385||3.2||Mills (entire route)|
|IA 931||9.0||Polk (entire route)|
|IA 945||4.6||Polk (entire route)|
|IA 965||3.0||Linn (76th Av SW in Cedar Rapids to County Road F12 east of Swisher; transfer to city)**|
*The segment of IA 102 in New Sharon remains under state control, according to county maps, but signs have been taken down. IA 107 in Meservey and Thornton remained under state control until June 30, 2011.
**The DOT delayed transfer of this segment until September 1, 2004, so the city of Cedar Rapids and Johnson County can work out a fringe area agreement. Johnson County has objected to the city taking over a one-mile stretch of the road outside of its city limits. All IA 965 signs have been taken down.
These unsigned highways were also turned over in the first half of 2003:
On April 17, 2003, Senate File 451 was introduced in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill addressed issues relating to county road jurisdiction (giving counties control of county road extensions that run through cities of less than 500 on July 1, 2004), classification of "Level C" service roads, and city street construction funding. As far as state-maintained highways are concerned, Section 3 of this bill called for the July 1 transfer of roads identified in a transfer of jurisdiction report, creating Section 306.8A to complement the Iowa Code's existing Section 306.8.
In the spring of 2003 the DOT's Road Use Tax Fund committee identified 712 miles of state highways that it wanted to turn over to local control, replacing the list that came out in late 2000. Jeff Morrison obtained the report after contacting the DOT on May 5. The table below lists all signed state highways that were transferred from the state to counties and cities on July 1. Unless otherwise noted, the entire route was decommissioned.
Senate File 451 passed the Senate 43-7 on April 23 and the House 74-24 on April 29. It was signed into law by Gov. Tom Vilsack on May 23.
Thanks go to the following for reporting the removal of signs:
IA 982 was mentioned in a July 9 Sioux City Journal article. IA 282 and 939 were both mentioned in the Waterloo Courier on July 13, while IA 214 was mentioned in the Courier on July 27.
After contacting various counties' highway departments in December 2003, Jeff Morrison found out most of the new county road numbers for the previously unspotted roads. Others appeared on the 2004 state transportation map.
|US 6||14||Dallas (between I-80 exit #100 near Dexter and US 169 in Adel; US 6 was rerouted along I-80 and US 169)|
|IA 15 (south)||4.6||Van Buren|
|IA 49||6||Adams (remainder of route)|
|IA 79||5.6||Des Moines|
|IA 83||14.6||Pottawattamie (from IA 191 to US 59)|
|IA 99||33||Des Moines, Louisa|
|IA 107||12||Franklin (remainder of route)|
|IA 122||1.6||Floyd (segment through Nora Springs)|
|IA 183||31.2||Harrison, Pottawattamie (from IA 127 to north city limits of Council Bluffs)|
|IA 191||18.3||Pottawattamie (from I-680 to north city limits of Council Bluffs)|
|IA 193||10.9||Fayette, Winneshiek|
|IA 197||2.6||Buena Vista|
|IA 225||7.7||Jasper, Poweshiek|
|IA 266||1.7||Clarke, Decatur (along county line)|
|US 275||15.5||Pottawattamie, Mills (from split with IA 92 to US 34; US 275 was rerouted along I-29 and US 34)|
|IA 297||3.6||Black Hawk|
|IA 333||13.0||Fremont (from US 275 to US 59)|
|IA 406||2.3||Des Moines|
|IA 419||1.0||Iowa, Poweshiek (along county line)|
|IA 920||12.5||Benton, Linn|
|IA 925||26||Adair, Guthrie, Dallas|
|IA 927||19||Muscatine, Cedar, Scott|
|IA 939||19||Buchanan (Independence already maintains its segment)|
|IA 965||10.7||Johnson (from County Road F12 southward to I-80; North Liberty already maintains its segment)*|
*IA 965 between I-80 and US 6 remains part of the state highway system, but all signs have been taken down.
Amendments to protect IA 16, 79, 99, 273, 276, and 327 from decommissioning were introduced in one or both chambers but were defeated. IA 16 east of US 218 in Lee County was originally scheduled to be turned over, but on June 17 the DOT gave IA 103 to the county instead after reviewing the poor condition of IA 16. Meanwhile, the city of Akron initially refused to accept IA 403, doing minimal snow maintenance on the road during the winter of 2003-04, but it has since accepted the road.
Most unsigned highways -- including IA 928 and IA 941, both of which appeared on the 2003 state transportation map, and IA 988 -- were also decommissioned on July 1. (See Jeff Morrison's Super Secret Route Pages for a more comprehensive list.) After this the only remaining 900-series highways are IA 922, 926, 930, 934, and 946 (a connector from the US 61/151 expressway to US 20 in Dubuque). Other unsigned highways that survived the purge include IA 116, IA 162 (which eventually became part of a relocated US 18 in Charles City), and IA 376. Except for 930, 934, and 946, all of these highways are signed as part of business US highways.
A complete list of affected highways, including who got what segment of each highway and how long each segment was, was released by the DOT after the bill was signed into law; a PDF-format map is also available.
Pottawattamie County received the most miles of highways (59), followed by Fremont (34). Benton, Buchanan, Des Moines, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Lee, and Woodbury counties also received over 20 miles of former state highways. In all 69 of the 99 counties in Iowa received highways from the DOT.
Very special thanks go to Jeff Morrison for obtaining this information from the DOT on May 5, 2003.
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