December 14, 2016
Carroll’s edge-of-town Subway location could have a new home after a project that will widen U.S. Highway 30 at its Grant Road intersection is completed.
The restaurant’s owner isn’t worried about the possibility, though — he just wants to make sure he has ample time to move.
An Iowa Department of Transportation finding several years ago that the intersection was one of the 100 most-dangerous intersections in the state prompted the project, which would widen Hwy. 30 by a lane on both sides of the Grant Road intersection, creating a left-turn lane from Hwy. 30 to Grant Road west of the intersection and continuing into a two-way left-turn lane east of the intersection.
The additional lane would be added south of the current highway, butting up against Subway, the business along the affected stretch that is closest to the road.
Snyder & Associates in Ankeny, the project’s consultant, and the DOT are working with business owners along the south side of Hwy. 30 around the intersection to negotiate the right-of-way and land acquisitions needed to complete the project.
Businesses that will be affected include Subway, Performance Tire, MC’s Country Cafe, Casey’s General Store and several others, although Subway is the only one whose entire property would be affected, Carroll Public Works Director Randy Krauel said.
As for Steve Gute, whose family owns the Subways both on Hwy. 30 east of Grant Road and in Walmart, he’s not concerned about moving the restaurant — only about having enough time to do it.
“If you guys wanted to start tomorrow, I’d frickin’ do it,” he said during a public meeting held Tuesday evening to allow business owners and residents to learn about the project.
There hasn’t been enough time yet to determine exactly what would happen to Subway and where it would move, said Gute, whose family has owned the restaurant in Carroll for 26 years.
“The city’s always been good,” he said. “I just want to make sure I stay open as a business, and my people get paid and there’s no interruption.”
Although the right-of-way acquisitions on the south side of the highway will determine when the project starts, the city hopes to begin seeking bids for the project early next spring, which would open the possibility of the project being completed during the 2017 construction season.
The preliminary estimate for construction costs for the project is $750,000. That doesn’t include property acquisitions, the costs of which still need to be determined, Krauel said.
A $500,000 DOT grant will pay for a portion of the project; additional funds might come from local option sales tax or tax-increment financing funds, he added.
Access to Sixth Street, the small offshoot road between Walnut Street and Grant Road, would be closed once the project is completed. The land south of the side road is privately owned, while the city owns the small triangle of land between the road and Hwy. 30. No decisions have been made about how that land or the road would be used after the highway was widened, Krauel said.
The DOT is handling the Subway property acquisition, while Snyder & Associates is handling negotiations with the rest of the businesses. The wider highway and safer intersection will be a positive change for the affected businesses, said Brian DuPrez, a right-of-way agent with Snyder & Associates.
“We’re trying to work through differences with the input of the owners, figuring out how this will impact businesses and finding solutions,” he said. “I think it’ll be better for everyone. Change is always a little difficult, but it’s important that these businesses stay vital.”
Carroll City Manager Mike Pogge-Weaver said the right-of-way acquisitions would need to be well under way, if not complete, by March before the city could begin letting bids.
He added that the public meeting answered questions for both business owners and city officials, although negotiations are far from complete.
“At the end of the day, we want to have an improvement,” he said. “It’s a needed project.”