The WCF Courier of Eastern Iowa ran a lengthy feature about the impact of a coming US 30 bypass around Tama and Toledo, Iowa. Parts of the current road bypassed the original Lincoln Highway long ago, and even this 4-lane has been under consideration for decades. The 7.5-mile project is set to open next year.
Here are excerpts:
The $24 million expansion is expected to draw manufacturing and other industries that need access to a major highway. Unfortunately, some are concerned traffic-dependent businesses, including restaurants and hotels, could see a drop in customers….
The highway has been important to Tama and Toledo over time. Tama was home to the Lincoln Highway at the turn of the century. When most of the road was rebranded U.S. 30, the thoroughfare maintained its relevance.
Big T’s Maid Rite has been a longtime institution at the intersection of U.S. highways 30 and 63 in Toledo. Cars come and go as travelers stop for coffee and pie. Others want the “mo” – a Maid Rite with onions and mustard.
Manager Brad Crawford expects business to drop off after four-lane opens. There’s less impetus to pull off the highway and grab a bite to eat when cars are travelling at 65 mph, he said.
“Any business is going to be affected by that,” Crawford said. The main hope for businesses, like Big T’s, is that the brand is strong enough to keep people coming back.