U.S. Route 20 in Iowa
|Maintained by Iowa DOT|
|Length:||301.429 mi (485.103 km)|
|Existed:||1926 – present|
|West end:||I‑129 / US 20 / US 75 at South Sioux City, NE|
|East end:||US 20 at East Dubuque, IL|
|Counties:||Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Calhoun, Webster, Hamilton, Hardin, Grundy, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque|
U.S. Highway 20 in Iowa is a major east–west artery which runs across the state, separating the northern third of Iowa from the southern two-thirds. It enters Iowa from Nebraska, concurrent with Interstate 129 and U.S Route 75, crossing the Missouri River at Sioux City. US 20 runs in a more-or-less straight line across Iowa, paralleling 42° 27' N. It leaves Iowa in Dubuque by crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois. The state of Iowa is in the process of upgrading US 20 into a four-lane, limited-access highway for its entire length in Iowa.
U.S. Highway 20 enters Iowa concurrent with Interstate 129 and U.S. Route 75 on a freeway which bypasses Sioux City to the south and east. Immediately after crossing the Missouri River into Iowa, Interstate 129 ends and US 20/US 75 intersect Interstate 29 and US 75 Business. On the east side of Sioux City at Gordon Drive, US 20 exits the US 75 freeway, which continues towards Le Mars.
East of Sioux City, U.S. Highway 20 continues as an expressway until Moville. From there, it is a rural, two-lane highway with only a short expressway segment just south of Holstein, that is briefly concurrent with U.S. Route 59. From US 59, it is about 18 miles (29 km) until US 20 has another four-lane segment, starting about one mile west of an interchange with U.S. Route 71 just north of Early. From here until an interchange with Iowa Highway 4 northwest of Rockwell City, this is the newest section of 4-lane, which opened in November 2012. This new roadway bypasses Sac City and Lytton, and has another interchange with Iowa Highway 196 northeast of Sac City, but mostly has at-grade intersections, including County M54 into Sac City and N28 into Lytton.
East of Iowa 4, and extending to the former beginning of the four-lane expressway northeast of Moorland (now an interchange with County D36), is a 4-lane section which opened in December 2010, and bypasses Rockwell City to the north. US 20 continues until just south of Highview, when it becomes a full interstate-standard freeway. The expressway south of Fort Dodge has interchanges with U.S. Route 169 and Webster County Route P59. East of Fort Dodge, US 20 overlaps with Iowa Highway 17 for 4.5 miles (7.2 km), ending at Webster City. Near Williams, US 20 intersects Interstate 35. Beginning at the interchange with U.S. Route 65 is a section of four-lane freeway which, when completed, shaved nearly 16 miles (26 km) off of US 20's length. Prior to 2003, US 20 joined U.S. Route 65 north through Iowa Falls and then east towards Ackley and Parkersburg before heading south again to the freeway with Iowa Highway 14. The bridge crossing the Iowa River near Steamboat Rock is a launched steel I-girder bridge, the first of its kind in the United States. The bridge was designed to cross the old-growth woodland of the Iowa River valley with minimal impact.
U.S. Highway 20 continues east towards Cedar Falls where it overlaps Iowa Highway 58 for just over 1 mile (1.6 km). The western junction of Iowa 58 (Hudson Road) connects traffic to the University of Northern Iowa while the eastern junction of Iowa 58 is also the western junction of Iowa Highway 27, the Avenue of the Saints. Another mile east, in Waterloo, US 20 intersects U.S. Route 63 (Sergeant Road). On the southeast side of Waterloo, Interstate 380 joins US 20/IA 27 for 6 miles (9.7 km) before exiting with Iowa 27 south towards Cedar Rapids.
U.S. 20 continues as a freeway east of Waterloo. It intersects Iowa Highway 150 at Independence and Iowa Highway 13 at Manchester, as well as junctioning a number of county roads serving smaller communities. Approximately 21 miles (34 km) between Independence and Manchester go over a terminal moraine and enter the Driftless Area, a region it will not exit until reaching Stockton, Illinois.
At Delaware, US 20 changes from a freeway to an expressway with at-grade intersections; however, there are many interchanges where US 20 meets major roads, mostly at the villages and towns along US 20's route. US 20 serves Earlville, Dyersville (passing near the Field of Dreams filming site), Farley, Epworth, and Peosta before entering Dubuque. US 20 remains at least four lanes through Dubuque, but there are several stoplights along the route, particularly on the western edge of the city. There is a brief controlled-access section where the highway descends into the Mississippi River valley. Near the river, Locust Street connects US 20 with U.S. Highway 52, U.S. Highway 61, and U.S. Highway 151, which have entered the city from the south as an expressway and continue northward as a freeway. US 20 crosses from Iowa into Illinois via the Julien Dubuque Bridge.
U.S. Highway 20 was designated in Iowa on October 16, 1926. The designation created a single route number for drivers to follow across the state from Sioux City to Dubuque; previously, three route numbers were used.
It is possible to drive most of US 20's former two-lane alignment from Early to Dubuque. Most of this routing (with the exception of Iowa Highway 57 from US 65 to Cedar Falls) is now under city and county control, but most of the guide signs remain from when US 20 followed this route. From Moorland, the highway's former alignment is U.S. Highway 20 Business through Fort Dodge. At Webster County Route P59, it continues on Webster County Route D20. The road changes designations several times between this point and Iowa Falls, but its route is very clear. It follows US 65 north out of Iowa Falls to the junction of Iowa 57, then follows 57 to Cedar Falls. At Cedar Falls, the former alignment continues on US 218 to Broadway Street; through Waterloo, it follows Broadway to Franklin Street to Dubuque Road. Beyond Waterloo, the designation of the road again changes several times, but the route to follow remains clear. Between Dyersville and Farley, US 20 follows its historic alignment. At Farley, the former alignment follows Old Highway Road into Dubuque.
The first segment of US 20 in Iowa to become four lanes was a short expressway segment east of Moville, which opened in 1958. Another short expressway segment in the Dubuque area opened in 1959. The rest of the expressway from Sioux City to Moville opened in 1964. By 1979 the Sioux City bypass was complete, as well as the section from Iowa 17 to Interstate 35, and the section from Independence to Delaware. By the end of the 1980s, the four-lane portions of US 20 ran from Coalville (near Fort Dodge) to Interstate 35 and from Waterloo to Dubuque.
During the 1990s little work was done to the route. It was extended westward to US 169 in 1991, and eastward to US 65 the same year, though initially the section from I-35 to US 65 was only two lanes. The new, semi-controlled section in Dubuque opened in 1996. Work began to accelerate in 2000, with the section between Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 65 becoming four lanes that year. The segment from Iowa 14 to Cedar Falls also opened in 2000. By 2003, the highway was complete from Fort Dodge to Dubuque.
In 2006, the state of Iowa was acquiring right of way to extend the US 20 expressway westward from Moorland to a point 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the current north junction with US 71. Paving work between Iowa Highway 4 and Moorland was completed in 2010 and the stretch was opened in December 2010. In November 2012, the 4-lane highway opened between Iowa 4 near Rockwell City and US 71 at Early, Iowa.
As of January 2014, around 40 miles (64 km) of US 20 remained 2 lane, between Early and Moville. Local leaders were lobbying for the remaining estimated cost of $375 million to complete the project.
West of US 71, the remaining length of US 20 faces an uncertain future. In 2006, the state had stated its intention to finish the project, but had not formally committed to a completion date. Community leaders in the northwestern Iowa communities which would be served by a four-lane U.S. 20 continue to advocate for its completion, and impact studies are under way.
|Dakota||South Sioux City||I‑129 west / US 20 west / US 75 south||Continuation into Nebraska|
|Missouri River||0.000||0.000||Nebraska–Iowa state line|
I-29 / I-129 ends / US 75 Bus. north – Sioux City, Council Bluffs, South Sioux City
|East end of I-129 overlap; signed as exits 1A (north) and 1B (south)|
US 75 north / US 20 Bus. west (Gordon Drive) – Le Mars
|East end of US 75 overlap|
|Moville||17.393||27.991||Iowa 140 north|
|Ida||Holstein||44.682||71.909||US 59 north||West end of US 59 overlap|
|46.093||74.179||US 59 south||East end of US 59 overlap|
|Sac||Eureka Township||57.769||92.970||Iowa 110 north|
|Boyer Valley Township||65.250||105.010||71||US 71|
|Cedar Township||75.765||121.932||82||Iowa 196 south to US 71 south|
|Calhoun||Twin Lakes Township||90.977||146.413||96||Iowa 4|
US 20 Bus. east / CR D36 – Moorland, Fort Dodge
|US 20 Bus. only signed eastbound|
|Elkhorn Township||115.882||186.494||121||US 169 – Fort Dodge, Humboldt|
|Pleasant Valley Township||119.032||191.563||124||
US 20 Bus. west / CR P59 – Fort Dodge, Coalville
|US 20 Bus. only signed westbound|
|Hamilton||Freedom Township||130.247||209.612||136||Iowa 17 north / CR R21 – Eagle Grove, Stratford||West end Iowa 17 overlap|
|Webster City||134.795||216.932||140||Iowa 17 south – Webster City, Stanhope||East end of Iowa 17 overlap|
|Independence Township||139.761||224.924||145||CR R38 – Kamrar|
|Liberty Township||143.770||231.375||149||US 69 – Jewell, Belmond|
|Rose Grove Township||147.405||237.225||153||I-35 – Des Moines, Mason City||Signed as exit 153A (south) and 153B (north)|
|149.858||241.173||155||CR R77 – Williams|
|Hardin||Buckeye Township||156.774||252.303||162||CR S27 – Alden, Buckeye|
|Ellis Township||163.114||262.507||168||US 65 – Iowa Falls, Hubbard|
|Jackson Township||176.270||283.679||175||CR D35 – Eldora, Owasa, Steamboat Rock|
|Clay Township||181.933||292.793||181||CR S56 – Ackley, Eldora|
|Grundy||Shiloh Township||182.017||292.928||187||CR T19 – Wellsburg|
|190.026||305.817||208||Iowa 14 – Parkersburg, Grundy Center|
|Dike||197.041||317.107||215||CR T55 – Dike, New Hartford|
|202.089||325.231||220||CR D18 – Cedar Falls|
|Black Hawk||Cedar Falls–Hudson
|205.593||330.870||224||Iowa 58 south (Hudson Road) – Hudson, University of Northern Iowa, UNI-Dome||West end of Iowa 58 overlap|
|206.684||332.626||225||Iowa 27 north (Avenue of the Saints) / Iowa 58 north – Cedar Falls, Airport||East end of Iowa 58 overlap; west end of Iowa 27 overlap|
|Waterloo||208.744||335.941||227||US 63 (Sergeant Road) – Hudson|
|211.784||340.833||230||Iowa 21 south (Hawkeye Road) – Dysart|
|I-380 north / US 218 – Waterloo, La Porte City||West end of I-380 overlap; exit numbers follow I-380|
|Evansdale||214.374||345.002||70||River Forest Road|
|216.642||348.652||68||Evansdale Drive – Elk Run Heights|
|Poyner Township||218.550||351.722||66||CR V49 – Raymond, Gilbertville|
|219.985||354.032||65||I-380 south / Iowa 27 south (Avenue of the Saints)||East end of I-380 and Iowa 27 overlaps; exit numbers follow US 20|
|Fox Township||221.496||356.463||240||CR V51 – Dunkerton, La Porte City|
|Buchanan||Westburg Township||226.927||365.204||245||CR V65 – Jesup|
|235.417||378.867||254||Iowa 150 – Independence, Vinton|
|Winthrop||242.511||390.284||261||CR W40 – Quasqueton, Winthrop|
|Middlefield Township||247.952||399.040||266||Iowa 187 north – Masonville, Lamont|
|256.449||412.715||275||Iowa 13 – Manchester, Central City|
|Manchester||258.394||415.845||277||CR D5X – Manchester|
|Delaware||263.459||423.996||282||Iowa 38 – Delaware, Monticello|
|267.176||429.978||285||CR X35 – Earlville|
|Dubuque||Dyersville||275.273||443.009||294||Iowa 136 – Dyersville, Cascade|
|Farley||281.439||452.932||300||CR Y13 – Farley|
|Epworth||285.250||459.065||304||CR Y17 – Epworth|
|Peosta||289.425||465.784||308||CR Y21 – Northeast Iowa Community College|
|Dubuque||297.044||478.046||Iowa 32 north (Northwest Arterial) – Asbury|
|299.970||482.755||—||Grandview Avenue, Fremont Avenue|
|300.236||483.183||—||Hill Street, Bryant Street|
|300.929||484.298||To US 52 / US 61 / US 151 (Locust Street)|
|Mississippi River||301.429||485.103||Julien Dubuque Bridge; Iowa–Illinois state line|
|Jo Daviess||East Dubuque||US 20 east||Continuation into Illinois|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- 2012 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa (PDF). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Google Inc. "U.S. Route 20 in Iowa". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://www.google.com/maps/preview?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=IA-20/US-20&daddr=US-20&hl=en&geocode=FX0diAIdaJZO-g%3BFVPEhwIdcGlh-g&gl=us&mra=ls&sll=42.441828,-94.288616&sspn=0.082468,0.136642&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=9. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- Dreeszen, Dave (January 26, 2014). "Local leaders to lobby for Highway 20 funding". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- Iowa Department of Transportation (2003). "The US 20 Iowa River Bridge - A Launched Steel I-Girder Bridge". Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Iowa Department of Transportation. "2007-2011 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-10-23.[dead link]
- Local leaders to lobby for Highway 20 funding. Sioux City Journal. Jan 26, 2014.
- Petroski, William (2006-11-15). "Road plan still leaves U.S. 20 far from finished.". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2009-10-30.[dead link]
- U.S. 20 Corridor Association. "Go 4 It". Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Iowa Department of Transportation (2012) (PDF). Transportation Map (Map). http://www.iowadotmaps.com/msp/pdf/current/stmapmain.pdf. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- US 20 at the Iowa Highways Page
- U.S. 20 Corridor Association (group advocating completion of the four-lane expressway in western Iowa)
|U.S. Route 20|