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MASON CITY, IA – You may have noticed black cables running across some roads in town, and many are wondering what exactly they are there for.
It’s not a construction project, in fact, it’s being organized by the Iowa DOT.
“At the time it was painful, but it’s definitely worth it now.”
Jay Kvigne owns Whiskey Creek off of Highway 122.
He says a few years ago, traffic around his business was a problem.
“The travel through here was a lot of times tied up, there’s a lot of traffic count coming through here,” explains Kvigne.
But that’s since changed, after a 5th turn lane was added two years ago.
Statistics showed there was a lot of traffic turning in that area. That information was found by the Iowa Department of Transportation, which conducts traffic counts every year around Iowa.
This year it’s taking place in the north east quadrant.
“Some of the highways there are actually physically people sitting in vehicles counting the amount of traffic that goes through there during the day. Some of them, you see cables going across the road, they use those types of counters,” explains Pete Hjelmstad, a Field Services Coordinator with the Iowa DOT.
The traffic tallies help the DOT determine which roads and highways need some extra attention.
“Maybe traffic has really grown on a highway and it’s a 2 land and we may need to change it to a 4 lane or maybe look at adding a 3rd lane, a center turn lane,” adds Hjelmstad.
That’s exactly what they found four years ago, the last time traffic was counted in this area.
“It’s great, the flow comes through a lot better, our business is doing great and a part of it is the set up on the road now, I believe,” says Kvigne.
He also says the new lane on this stretch of road hasn’t just been great for his business, but it’s also help make the road safer.
“That was a big deal out here, turning in, I see a lot of people would get rear ended over here, that was the biggest thing we’d see a lot of rear end accidents out here so, it’s just much, much better now.”