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Old 08-05-2011, 05:12 PM
 
639 posts, read 895,958 times
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Does anyone know if the Avenue of the Saints will eventually become a new interstate between Mason City and St. Louis? Obviously it's already an interstate between Mason City and the Twin Cities (I-35), but most of the rest of the route is just four lane highway with intersections. The only exceptions are I-380 between Waterloo and Iowa City, and I-64 in the St. Louis metro. I was thinking they should turn it into I-37, since I-35 is to the west and I-39 (in Illinois) is to the east.

I've heard people say on various message boards that the entire route will eventually be upgraded to "interstate standards", but I suppose that could just mean replacing all the current intersections along the route with exits and on ramps, while still technically being state/U.S. highway rather than an official interstate (just like Hwy 20 between Waterloo and I-35).

Does anyone know if the stretch between Mason City and St. Louis will eventually become a new interstate? Or at the very least, does anyone know if they really are planning to upgrade the whole route to "interstate standards"? I can't seem to find any sources on that, just random people on other message boards seeming to throw it around as a rumor.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
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I've honestly never heard of this seriously talked about by the DOT in Iowa. In this current national economic and political climate of not wanting to continue to invest in our infrastructure, we'll be lucky to get the pot holes patched next spring, let alone upgrade a highway to interstate standards.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:10 PM
 
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There are no plans in the foreseeable future to make the Avenue of the Saints a fully sanctioned interstate highway. But I am certain as the years go on, you will continue to see portions of the route retrofitted to interstate standards (elemination of at grade intersections, paved shoulders, etc.).
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Bettendorf, IA
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Avenue of the Saints has been talked about for well over 30 years. Given today's economic climate with limited dollars I seriously doubt this initiative will ever happen.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scimitar12 View Post
Avenue of the Saints has been talked about for well over 30 years. Given today's economic climate with limited dollars I seriously doubt this initiative will ever happen.
The Avenue of the Saints was completed in 2006.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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Considering the alternative I'm very pleased with it even though it's not at the interstate level.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Yeah, the Iowa portion was completed in 2006, and the Missouri portion in 2008.

I also agree that they will probably start upgrading it to interstate standards eventually. After all, if the Iowa DOT is still working on upgrading other highways across the state to four lane (Hwy 20 between Fort Dodge and Sioux City, Hwy 30 between Ames and Cedar Rapids) then I don't see why upgrading the whole AOTS route to interstate standards would be too hard to imagine. I wouldn't expect it to happen in the near future, but like within the next couple decades maybe. I am of course specifically referring to the Iowa route (I don't know about the Missouri route).

As far as an official interstate goes...I know that's all up to the feds, but if the entire AOTS route is upgraded to interstate standards, and the economy starts doing better, I think it would be very likely to happen.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Bettendorf, IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepe1 View Post
The Avenue of the Saints was completed in 2006.
The original vision, and current wish, for Avenue of the Saints was to be a four lane interstate type highway, not a hodge podge system of existing two lane and four lane roads.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scimitar12 View Post
The original vision, and current wish, for Avenue of the Saints was to be a four lane interstate type highway, not a hodge podge system of existing two lane and four lane roads.
The original design objective was to construct four-lane highway access between St Louis, MO and Saint Paul, MN and I have no doubt that some people initially construed this as meaning a new interstate.

Mr. Earnest Hayes, the original brainchild of this route, may (or may not) have initially pitched this highway as an Interstate route? But from the design prospective and the reality of the budget, the objective has always been four lane highway access.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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When you look at the history and movement of people in this country, the expansion was west, and for the most part, our roads reflect this.

Infrastructure these days is a dirty word. Who knows, though...they did eventually get 20 to all 4 lane. I guess the real question is whether the ave of the saints would be used enough to bother.
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