Both Dubuque and Cedar Rapids got a special visit from U.S. Transportation Secretary and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Thursday, May 25th. Buttigieg took a walking tour of Dubuque's Elm Street in order to envision a proposed project for a railroad overpass as well as other infrastructure improvements.

The projects are to be funded by a $2.28 million federal grant. The grant came from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. Buttigieg spent the day touring both Dubuque and Cedar Rapids in order to oversees the areas that would see improvements.

The City of Dubuque's proposal is a bridge at 14th Street over the railroad crossing, which officials claim would improve safety and connect Dubuque's low-income neighborhoods to better jobs on the other side of the tracks. The recent merger of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern Railway Co. is already expected to increase traffic on the railroad, per Project Manager Steve Sampson Brown and Telegraph Herald.

Dubuque officials have also proposed significant street enhancements, such as wider sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and roundabouts throughout 16th Street and Elm Street.

Prior to serving as an integral member of Joe Biden's cabinet, Buttigieg was mayor South Bend, IN. His 2020 presidential bid in the Democratic Party's primary, which saw him win the Iowa caucuses, increased his national platform and eventually landed him the job he holds today as U.S. Department of Transportation.

Photo Credit: KCRG-TV9, YouTube
Photo Credit: KCRG-TV9, YouTube

Buttigieg commented how some of the infrastructure improvements he pushed forward in South Bend were met with criticisms in the development stage. Dubuque Mayor Brad Cavanagh stated that the same went for improvements to Dubuque, such as the Grandview Avenue roundabout, which has kept traffic flowing through the congested intersection:

We put one of our first roundabouts on a busy street, Grandview [Avenue]. And at the time, there were a lot of people against it, thinking it wasn’t going to be safe. As we’ve done it, though, traffic moves through there so smoothly. It’s designed for pedestrians to get across easily. Now we hear almost nothing against it. - per Telegraph Herald

Buttigieg and city officials walked from Elm Street through the Dubuque Intermodal Transportation Center and Millwork District due to the planned corridor would allow people to catch transit to such locations in town.

Read more about U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's visit to the Key City on Telegraph Herald's website.


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