USDA Approves Grant for Curb Modification

OTTUMWA – City of Ottumwa and Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress, Inc. (GOPIP) officials are pleased to announce the award of $142,347 from a Rural Business Development Grant issued by USDA. The grant, which was submitted March 2, will be used for curb modifications at the intersection of N. Court St. and Fox Sauk Rd., near the entrance of the industrial park, which leads to Helgerson Flats.

The grant will assist with widening of the curve by approximately 50 feet to improve access, provide greater maneuverability, and offer safety for truck and other vehicular traffic. The original street structure, engineered in the 1960’s, was not designed to support the weight or volume of transportation that uses the current intersection. The construction will allow for two-way movement through the curve without interruption of oncoming traffic.

“Based on information from the 2018 Traffic Impact Study, City of Ottumwa, Iowa Dept. of Transportation, GOPIP and industrial customers worked to determine an alternative that would be efficient without great cost. The changes that are scheduled will provide greater safety and maneuverability by increasing the turn radius” says Larry Seals, Public Works Director.

“We view these improvements as the next stages of site development for Helgerson Flats. Accessibility is a key component to business attraction” says Sharon Stroh, VP of Industrial Development at GOPIP, Inc. Stroh adds that a small parcel of land owned by Iowa National Guard is also being purchased by GOPIP for the benefit of the project. That transaction should be completed soon.  “We were set to move forward with the acquisition before the pandemic outbreak, which naturally has prioritized the attention of officials with the Guard and State of Iowa, suspending the sale for a brief period of time”.

The project, anticipated for an August bid, is scheduled for completion later this year.