ALBION - The Iowa Department of Transportation has decided to scrap plans for an expansion project of Highway 330 south of Albion.
The project was to add wider shoulders on the road for safety, especially since it's been a heavy truck route through the years.
Tony Gustafson, assistant engineer of District 1 for IDOT, said the cost did not equal the benefit of the project. He said traffic and accidents on the road have decreased in recent years and attributes that in part to the four lanes created on U.S. Highway 20 to the north.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Tim Hutcheson shows the area in his front yard which would have been affected by the proposed Highway 330 expansion project south of Albion. The Iowa Department of Transportation has decided to not proceed with the project in the near future and it is not in IDOT’s five-year plan.
"Accidents have gone down tremendously," Gustafson said.
IDOT sent a letter to the city of Albion last month notifying it the project was not on its current five-year plan. Gustafson said the estimates called for the project to reach upwards of $7 million.
"The project faced developmental issues including: meeting environmental requirements, escalating construction costs and broad level opposition to the project," the letter reads.
One of those area residents providing opposition was Tim Hutcheson, who lives along Highway 330.
Hutcheson held a rally at his home three years ago against the plans after IDOT held a public hearing on the project. The expansion of the shoulder of the road and the required ditch would have been just steps from his front door.
"I'm happy with it," Hutcheson said of the IDOT decision to not expand the road. "I still see it coming in the future."
Hutcheson hasn't noticed the decrease in traffic by his place, which Gustafson referred to.
"It's still pretty heavy," he said.
The city of Albion did not take an official stance against the project, but had concerns about well fields in the area of the proposed construction work. Pat Hemming, Albion City Council member, said they are looking at ways to address the raising of those well fields, and they have a grant to move forward.