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Adel Highway 169 Projects FAQ

Highway 169 Turning & Safety Improvements Trails / Sidewalks / Underpass Meadow Road Paving


Submit your question(s) about the Highway 169 Growth and Safety Projects:  Question Form

Updated: 02/06/19

Overall Project

Over the last several years the City Council has received feedback from the community concerning safety along Nile Kinnick Drive (Hwy 169 South) regarding the intersections at and south of the school, general speed limits, safety concerns around walking/bicycling and general traffic flow; as well as the consideration the paving of Meadow Road.  Over these years, specifically in regard to the state-owned Highway 169, the Council has requested from the Iowa DOT multiple speed studies and a TEAP study to help address the issue — without desired results.  (Updated 01/31/19)

Category: Overall Project
  • Spring 2018 
    • City Council Adopted Goals for Next 2 years – Implement Safety Improvements along Nile Kinnick Drive South (Highway 169) & Paving of Meadow Road  
    • The issue was assigned to the City Council Streets Committee for review, recommendations, etc. 
  • Summer 2018 
    • June 5:  Initial Public Meeting was held at the ADM High School Auditorium to get initial public feedback.  Concerns prevalent from that meeting included financing of the project, high speed limits and overall safety regarding turn lanes and pedestrian/bicycle traffic. 
    • July 12: Meeting with Iowa DOT @ Atlantic District Office (From Adel:  Council Member Rob Christensen, Mayor Peters, Kip Overton, Director of Public Works and the City’s Engineering Firm – McClure Engineering) 
      • Discussed concerns from public meeting 
      • Presented Traditional Turn Lane Design 
      • Discussed traffic signals 
      • Talked specifically about speed – requested speed study 
      • Half mentioned that someone from the public at the June 5 public meeting mentioned the possibility of roundabouts.  IDOT said they would be open to considering the concept. 
    • August 2018
      • Street Committee decided to form Citizen Focus Group to gain more insight of public desire for design, priority and financing. 
        • Nominated 3 citizens each by Streets Committee Members and Mayor, plus Street Committee, Mayor, Superintendent (designee) from ADM, Rep. City Engineering Firm, City Administrator and Public Works Director (full list)
        • Of those nominated, some members never attended any meetings, some were unable to attend all meetings, but most attend all 5 meetings. 
        • All meetings were held publicly and open to the public. 
    • September 2018
      • September 14:  Received Speed Study back from IDOT:  Recommended increasing speeds by 5 MPH along Highway 169 from Green Street in 30 & 45 MPH zones (ending in 35 and 50 MPH speeds). 
      • September 17:  First meeting of Citizen Focus Group (PowerPoint)
        • We reviewed growth trends of the city and county, big picture of city financing, city history of street improvements 
        • Created goals (safety, small town feel, traffic flows) and mission statement:  The Adel Street Committee Citizen Focus Group will use a collaborative process to provide consensus recommendations to the City Council for a safer Highway 169 southern corridor, that will also include appropriate trails and sidewalks for overall connectivity and betterment of the entire community.” (Focus Group Community Sentiment and Mission Worksheet Results)
        • Set meeting dates and times for future meetings and agenda items for each meeting 
        • Invited all community members in attendance to join the group at the tables as part of the discussion carried on this practice with all meetings 
      • October 2018
        • October 11: Second meeting of Citizen Focus Group (PowerPoint)
          • Discussed Trails/Sidewalks/Underpass – including existing city parks & trails plan 
          • Discussed Paving of Meadow Road 
          • Activity regarding benefit of Trails/Sidewalks/Underpass (Activity Results)
        • October 25: Third meeting of Citizen Focus Group  (PowerPoint)
          • Activity regarding benefit of Paving of Meadow Road (Activity Results)
          • Discussed safety on Highway 169 South 
          • Speed, speed study, IDOT speed requirements (IDOT Speed Limit Determination Brochure) 
          • Need for intersection (turn lanes of some type) improvement & improving intersection at Fareway/School 
          • Discussed design concepts and options for turning lanes on Highway 169 
          • Activity regarding benefit of improvements on Highway 169 South (Activity Results)
      • November 2018
        • November 8: Fourth Meeting of Citizen Focus Group (PowerPoint)
          • Discussed project costs — including variations for various concepts (including upfront and long-term maintenance costs) 
          • Discussed financing challenges and options 
            • Debt Service 
            • Special Assessments 
            • TIF 
            • IDOT Contributions (confirmed & potential) 
            • Developer Escrow 
        • Prior to November 29 Meeting – conducted online survey of Citizen Focus Group members regarding priority, design and financing. 
        • November 29: Fifth meeting of Citizen Focus Group (PowerPoint)


Updated:  02/05/19

Category: Overall Project

Highway 169 Turning & Safety Improvements

Both a traditional turn lane concept (turn lane drawing) and a roundabout (roundabout drawing) concept have been considered.

The Citizen Focus Group after review of both concepts have recommended to the City Council that a roundabout concept be used to achieve the mission statement of the group that will improve overall safety with achieving desired speed reductions and provide for improved traffic flows within the current Iowa DOT rules and regulations (in consideration of the results of the speed study and traffic counts (that are not large enough yet to allow for stop lights)).

The City Council has not made any final decision but is in consultation with the Iowa DOT regarding both concepts.

Updated: 02/05/19

Roundabouts are statically safer intersections and have fewer accident points when vehicles use the intersection.

Consider the safety reviews of roundabouts from the independent review from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:  As well as the Federal Highway Administration:  Video:

In the State of Iowa three out of the five existing roundabouts on state highways that are designed similarly to the design in the Adel Highway 169 roundabout concept.  Injury crashes have been nearly eliminated, and property damage crashes reduced in 2 of the 3 intersections.  (Note:  On a mobile device you may need to turn your device to landscape (sideways) to view this table in full.) 

Location (year constructed) 5 Years Before Construction 5 Years After Construction
All Crashes Injury Crashes Property Damage Only Crashes All Crashes Injury Crashes Property Damage Only Crashes
IA 281 at Raymond Ave, Black Hawk County (2008) 2 0 2 0 0 0
IA 3 at IA 187, Fayette County (2009) 6 2 4 2 0 2
US 30 at 10th Ave, Mount Vernon (2013) 10 6 4 10 2 8

Updated:  02/05/19

Yes — there are five current roundabouts in the State of Iowa on state highways:

  • IA 281 & Raymond Avenue in rural Black Hawk County
  • IA 3 & IA 187 in rural Fayette County (near Starmont School)
  • US 30 & 10th Avenue in Mt. Vernon
  • US 30 & IA 1 in Mt. Vernon
  • US 34 & US 63 in Ottumwa

You can view and navigate as if driving using Google Street View the two that are most like the proposed Adel roundabout concept:

Updated:  02/05/19

Roundabouts are designed with large commercial trucks in mind.  They include truck skirts/aprons in the center turn and in slip lanes that allow long trucks to navigate turns with ease when properly understood and used.  You can learn more about this design at this YouTube video:

While some have experience and different parts of the country have more roundabouts, it is understood that not everyone has experience navigating roundabouts.  Of course this can be true of most traffic situations in one’s lifetime (i.e. no experience driving multilane freeway such as I-235, etc.), it is well understood, that like other communities, an effort to educate local citizens will be required.

As in other Iowa and Midwest communities, if Adel adopts roundabouts, there would be an educational component for the community prior to building any such intersection.  Some examples include:

Iowa students as well are currently educated in the Iowa DOT Drivers Training Manual on roundabouts — see page 40 in the manual.


Updated: 02/05/19

  • Highway 169 does not have any special designation for truck traffic set by the Iowa DOT.
  • Highway 169 is not designated by Iowa DOT as part of the Commercial and Industrial Network (CIN):  Designated road system of primary highways that connect the state’s regional growth areas and carry a significant amount of the state’s commercial traffic; the CIN does not include the interstate system.

While Highway 169 through Adel is used by many commercial trucks (semi trucks, straight trucks, buses, garbage trucks, dump trucks, etc.), traffic counts do not show that it is larger than any comparable highway.

Current data (from 2016) from the Iowa DOT shows that daily traffic counts:  (Note:  On a mobile device you may need to turn your device to landscape (sideways) to view this table in full.) 

Location Total Vehicle Commercial Trucks Comm. Truck % of Total
Highway 169 between Adel and DeSoto 6100 460 7.5%
Highway 44 between Dallas Center and Grimes 6200 550 11.3%
Highway 6 between Adel and Waukee 12500 700 5.6%
Highway 30 coming into 10th Av. Roundabout in Mt. Vernon 13500 1290 9.6%

Sources:  Iowa DOT Vehicular Traffic Map; Iowa DOT Truck Traffic Map

Note:  Updated traffic counts currently being performed along this corridor in Adel.  Numbers will be added when available.

Updated:  02/05/19


Trails / Sidewalk / Underpass

This includes trails and sidewalks along both sides Highway 169 South from the intersection with ADM High School until the intersection with 302nd Place (next to St. John’s Catholic Church).

The underpass (under Highway 169) for bicycle and pedestrian traffic would be located between Timberview Drive and Bailey’s Grove Drive.

Both the traditional turn lane concept and roundabout concept show the trails, sidewalks and underpass.

It is intended to connect these trails and sidewalks to existing and future trails in Adel in accordance with the 2017 Parks & Trails Master Plan.

Updated:  02/06/19

Paving of Meadow Road

Currently a portion of Meadow Road is paved between Sadie Lane and South 11th Streets.  What is being considered would be to finish the paving the sections of Meadow Road to allow for a paved road from Nile Kinnick Drive South (Hwy 169) to 15th Street South.  (concept plan)

This is paving only and does not include any curb and gutter or sidewalks at this time.

Updated:  02/06/19

Category: Meadow Road Paving

Meadow Road is equally owned by both the City of Adel and Dallas County.

Dallas County has a policy/practice that they will not pay for paving of any road that is shared with a municipality, thus this being a City of Adel project.

Updated:  02/06/19

Category: Meadow Road Paving

Financing of Project(s)

The City Council has multiple options it is considering to finance the project(s) and most likely will require and choose to use a combination of these options.  They include:

  • Iowa DOT Contributions  ($1.5~ million verbally committed to date)
  • City debt service (property tax)
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
  • Special Assessments
  • Escrow Account for turn lanes required of developers  ($416,819)

The Citizen Focus Group has reviewed options and proposed a varied combination of potential options.  (Meadow Road Consensus; Trails Consensus; Highway 169 Consensus)

The City Council has not taken action on any combination of these options, but has been in review with both legal and financial advisors regarding options.

Updated:  02/06/19

The current estimated costs are as follows:

  • Meadow Road Paving:  $600,000~
    • Does not include curb/gutter/sidewalk
    • Assumes existing & potential commercial partial pavement in place
  • Trails / Sidewalks / Underpass:  $1,000,000~
  • Highway 169 Turn Lanes and Improvements
    • Traditional Turn Lane Concept:  $4.8 million~
      • Does not include stop lights nor any improvements at intersection of ADM High School/Fareway
      • Intersection improvements at:  Timberview, Bailey’s Grove, Meadow Road & 302nd Place
    • Roundabout Concept:  $5.3 million~
      • Roundabouts at intersections:  ADM HS/Fareway, Timberview, Meadow Road & 302nd Place
      • Right hand turn lanes at: Bailey’s Grove 

Updated:  02/06/19