Wever residents complain about increased traffic because of fertilizer plant
By Andy Devine, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
The town of Wever, Iowa in Lee County has turned into a construction zone since crews began building the Iowa Fertilizer Plant.
Residents are concerned about the noise, traffic and workers speeding through town to go to work.
"Too much traffic for no stop signs," Hirte said. "They just come through here about 6:30 in the morning. Bumper-to-bumper; some don't even stop."
Those types of complaints are what prompted other Wever residents to approach the Lee County Board Of Supervisors on Tuesday at its weekly meeting.
Wever resident James Hirte says many workers are driving through town to get to work instead of taking 180th Street just off of Highway 61.
Lee CountySherifff Jim Sholl says he's heard concerns like this before from residents, but he doesn't have the resources to keep constant patrol of the situation.
"My officers have been out there enjoying grand overtime at times to enforce traffic laws," Sholl said.
Sholl says he has spoken with plant officials and they tell him they are going to stagger shift starts to alleviate the problem when 2,500 workers come this summer.
Residents say they understand problem, but it is a headache for some.
"They got to get to work and there's going to be traffic regardless," Wever resident Debbie Olomon said. "As far as the wear and tear on the roads, you get about the same from farm equipment."
"I don't know what I want them to take," Hirte said. "They have to get to work, you know? I just wish there was a better way."
Here is a full statement from officials at the Iowa Fertilizer Plant:
"The safety of the community and our workers is Iowa Fertilizer¹s top priority. Our goal is to be good neighbors.
Iowa Fertilizer has been working closely with the Iowa Department of Transportation and Lee County officials to take steps to address traffic issues to and from the construction site. For example, the turning lane from Highway 61 onto 180th Street has been extended to accommodate turning trucks. There has also been a reduction in the speed limit to 55 miles per hour on Highway 61 as vehicles approach the plant intersection.
As construction progresses, Iowa Fertilizer will continue to work with local and state officials to find additional solutions for traffic flow. This could include a second entrance and exit for construction workers to alleviate any traffic congestion. Traffic safety is important to all of us."- Shawn Rana, President, Iowa Fertilizer
Thursday, August 28 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:39:51 GMT
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