City hears concerns regarding 18th St. Viaduct Project

The City of Sioux City is working to make the lives of drivers a little easier around town- specifically in the Hoeven Valley Area.

A viaduct would begin near the existing 18th Street and Steuben Street intersection.

It would then extend to the west over the railroad tracks ending at Floyd Boulevard.

The construction of the viaduct would result in the closure of the 11th Street and 18th Street railroad crossings, and the potential closure of the 28th Street railroad crossing, as well.

The project began in 2014.

A $1 million 2014 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program, or TIGER, planning grant allowed the City to develop plans for the project, as well as, update a long range strategic plan.

In August of 2016 the DOT rejected the city’s application for nearly $15 million to fund the project.

Later that year, in December, the Sioux City City Council voted unanimously to approve the submission of a grant application, to the Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program, for the project. 

That was also later rejected.

In July of this year, the City will complete a grant application for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grant.

In December, the city will be notified if they got the grant, or not.

If grants are approved, construction on the project is predicted to begin in October of 2019, and be completed by 2021. 

The City says the expected benefits of the 18th Street Viaduct include:

A reduction in delays for motorists traveling in this area, and a reduction in horn noise from passing train.

It is expected to be more reliable, and reduce response time for emergency service vehicles.

In addition, it is expected to improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to the trail along the west bank of the Floyd River.

Although the city says there are many benefits to the project, some business owners, don’t agree. 

Thursday night, engineers and city staff who designed the project, heard from concerned citizens in a public meeting.

Linda Scheid, Executive Director of Food Bank of Siouxland, says that ever since she caught wind of the project, it has caused her some worry.

The Food Bank of Siouxland is at the corner of Floyd and 11th Street. 

Once this viaduct is complete, 11th street would be closed.

Schied says this would hurt the business, because the only entrance to the building would be from Floyd Boulevard- which is a steep road to drive on.

"So between just regular traffic, staff, donors, agencies, but think about the truckers," said Linda Scheid, Executive Director, Food Bank of Siouxland. "Trying to come down the grade of that hill, in the winter time, is extremely hazardous."

But Senior Civil Engineer, Brittany Anderson, says the city has a response to the concern.

She says that the businesses directly impacted by the project would go through Right-A-Way Acquisition Process with the city’s real estate department.

Meaning, if the business wanted to, the city would pay for them to relocate to a different area. 

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