Iowa DOT may expand I-35 to six lanes from Ames to Ankeny

Sarina RhinehartSpecial to the
Times

The Iowa Department of Transportation said it is in the early stages of looking to expand Interstate 35 from four to six lanes between Ames and Ankeny, and will hold a information session on the project in Huxley on Monday, June 20, to gather public input.

This project looks at expanding the highway to six lanes from one mile north of U.S. 30 in Story County to one mile north of NE 36th Street in Ankeny.

“Traffic is not moving like it should even now, at peak hours,” said Tony Gustafson, assistant district engineer with the Iowa DOT.

Gustafson said with the projected future traffic growth in the area, traffic on I-35 will only continue to get worse without an expansion. He said the DOT is just getting started on working on this project, with construction to potentially begin as early at 2020, dependant on funding and project priority. During construction, he said I-35 would never be closed, but would on some occasions be closed to one lane at nights.

The Iowa DOT is working on replacing the bridges on I-35 over Skunk River in Story County, south of Ames, which will widen that area to six lanes.

The public is invited to attend the June 20 meeting, which will be an open forum format, anytime between 5 and 6:30 p.m. at Ballard High School in Huxley. Iowa DOT staff will be present to discuss the proposed project. However, no formal presentation will be made.

“We will have many more meetings after this one,” Gustafson said.