May 15, 2021

IDOT overlaying South Skunk River bridge on I-80

Semi-truck drivers urged to stay in left lane while crews create median crossover

The Iowa Department of Transportation is resurfacing a bridge over the South Skunk River along Interstate 80, just west of Colfax. Before the overlaying can commence, crews must construct a contraflow lane to direct westbound traffic to the eastbound roadway, which has caused problems for a few truckers.

To prepare the contraflow, IDOT crews installed signs telling motorists to reduce speed from 70 mph to 55 mph and have also coned off the left lane of the interstate. What is usually the right lane has become the new left lane, while the shoulder is a temporary right lane.

Two semi-truck trailers have fallen into the northern ditch of westbound I-80 between the Colfax and Mitchellville exits as a result of the changes.

IDOT Resident Construction Engineer Dustin Skogerboe said crews are working on creating a median crossover to allow eastbound traffic onto the westbound pavement. In order to build the crossover, the IDOT must shift the traffic lanes. Skogerboe said that’s where the department is running into issues.

Some newer trucks, he suggested, have collision avoidance detection systems. Skogerboe wondered if those systems may be misreading the new road markings. Nevertheless, the IDOT has taken precautions to warn truckers. Recently, IDOT installed a sign saying: “No shoulder ahead. Trucks use left lane.”

Skogerboe estimated the bridge work could be completed by fall 2021.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

Christopher Braunschweig

Reporter with a strong penchant for community journalism.