Fort Dodge officials have requested some state money to help pay for a planned downtown street realignment.
City Engineer Chad Schaeffer and Stephanie Houk Sheetz, the senior city planner, traveled to Cedar Rapids Tuesday to address the state Transportation Commission.
There, they argued that the project will result in less maintenance work for the state Department of Transportation, so the city ought to get some of the money that would be usually be spent on upkeep. They asked for $320,000.
The basis of their request is the often-overlooked fact that Second Avenue South is part of a state route called Iowa Highway 926. That highway, marked as Business U.S. Highway 169, extends from U.S. Highway 169 on Second Avenue South to Eighth Street, south on Eighth Street to Fifth Avenue South/Kenyon Road and on to the western edge of the city, where it again meets Highway 169.
The city's plan calls for linking First and Second avenues south with a new section of road, and opening First Avenue South to two-way traffic to create a cross-town connector. Part of Second Avenue South would be removed to make room for future development.
Sheetz said Tuesday afternoon that connecting the two streets would yield two and a half blocks of new pavement that would require less maintenance and thus, less money would have to be spent.
''Rather than put that money in the DOT's pocket, we'd like to put it in our pocket,'' she said.
The commission took no action on the request.
Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org