The developer of a subdivision located east of Peosta plans to temporarily reopen a private road, creating what neighborhood residents view as a safer path to the community.
Several weeks ago, residents of a subdivision off Thunder Hills Road approached Dubuque County supervisors with concerns about access to the city due to ongoing construction.
Work on a new housing development had caused the closure of Ulyana Drive — the only off-highway connector between Thunder Hills Road and Cox Springs Road. That means the only path west for subdivision residents is to access U.S. 20 via an at-grade intersection with no entrance ramp or acceleration lane.
Iowa Department of Transportation officials said an access road eventually will run parallel to U.S. 20. And Ulyana Drive eventually will become a paved City of Peosta road.
That will all take time, though.
“Ulyana is the immediate solution,” Dubuque County Engineer Anthony Bardgett said during a recent work session.
County officials joined Peosta City Administrator Whitney Baethke and developer Yaroslav Nakonechnyy, of Nako Construction, which owns Ulyana Drive, during a recent work session to discuss a temporary fix.
“We discussed a temporary easement that would lapse when this frontage road is completed,” Baethke said. “But to complete Ulyana, they have to tear up that section to bring it to city standards. And by that time, the frontage road would be done.”
So Nakonechnyy said his crews would take it upon themselves to lay gravel on Ulyana Drive and open it through the winter. But he has safety concerns of his own.
“People need to know they can’t speed on that road,” Nakonechnyy said. “We wanted to keep it closed because people from Thunder Hills Road would come through at 70 mph. We have kids on that and everything.”
Bardgett suggested Ulyana Drive have a speed limit of 25 mph once opened. Supervisor Dave Baker suggested a radar feedback sign that flashes an oncoming car’s speed.
Nakonechnyy said he would prefer some enforcement. Peosta police will patrol the road once it is open, according to a post on the City of Peosta Facebook page.
Nakonechnyy said he would get moving on the rock for Ulyana Drive as soon as the snow melts, which he expects to happen next week. Traffic on the road will have to be careful, though, since it will not be treated with salt throughout the winter.
Bob Hingtgen, director of transportation for Western Dubuque Community Schools, had been one of the voices to raise alarm about traffic turning onto U.S. 20, where the speed limit is 65 mph.
He said at the meeting Nov. 12 that a gravel Ulyana Drive will serve his purposes just fine.