Tri States Public Radio Staff
Tue March 14, 2006
West Point Wants Highway 61 Interchange
West Point, IA – Business leaders from one Southeast Iowa community are pushing for major changes in a scheduled transportation project. The current layout of the proposed Highway 61 bypass around Fort Madison includes 3 seperate interchanges. Spokesperson Vern Meierotto says a 4th interchange, at the point where the bypass will cross Highway 103, needs to be returned to the plan. He says the only way to add the interchange to the design is to purchase nearly 16 acres of land for the project. He says the price tag could be anywhere from $60,000 to $90,000. Meierotto says the West Point City Council has already agreed to split the cost with the Fort Madison City Council and the Lee County Board of Supervisors. Fort Madison Mayor Steve Ireland and Board Chairman George Morgan both say the issue will be discussed April 4. Meierotto says if the land is purchased, local leaders would then need to lobby the federal government for as much as $5,000,000 to pay for actually building the interchange.