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Fairfax Road Construction

FAIRFAX, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Last year the Iowa Department of Transportation conducted a study on Highway 151 and decided that the traffic was too much for the roads that are here now. But the solution could give the expanding City of Fairfax come growing pains.

Its a small town with what could be a big problem.

"They did studies of it to show us what that traffic is now and what that growth is going to be for the future so I think that is what is forcing them to look at improving the roadway, said Fairfax Mayor Jason Rabe.

The problem is they want to do the work on both bridges at the same time, cutting off the only direct route to Cedar Rapids and any other northern communities.

"It's kind of a bedroom community, said Fire Chief Mike Sankot. Everyone either works in Cedar Rapids or Hiawatha."

"I mean weekends, 80-percent is probably Cedar Rapids business so getting from one side of the river to the other is going to be hard, said bartender Daryl Franzenburg.

The Department of Transportation worked out a series of detours around town to get around the construction. But even the shortest routes are about ten miles long, through dirt roads. That puts everyone in a tough spot, especially emergency services, like the Fire Department.

"That puts me five to eight miles from responding across the creek to the other side of town," said Sankot.

So now, at least part of the blueprints goes back to the drawing board.

"We've asked them, and I think they are, looking at some alternatives to build a temporary bridge or build the bridge a half at a time, said Rabe

The project is still in its early stages. Construction would only start here in the next two years or so. But even this early on, plenty of people are worried about how long theyll sit in traffic once shovel hits dirt.
 
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