FLOYD — The family of a Charles City man who was killed in a motorcycle accident near Floyd in 2016 have filed a claim against the state over the U.S. Highway 218 intersection where the crash occurred.
In a prepared statement released last week, relatives of T.J. Houdek said they would like to speed up the redesign of the intersection at Highway 18/218 and Quarry Road/Monroe Street to make it safer.
“We feel by filing this claim against the state, the state will expedite the removal of this dangerous intersection to warn everyone how T.J. died at this intersection and to protect the public,” said the statement, which bears the names of Thomas and Diane Houdek, T.J. Houdek’s parents.
The parents said “it seems that nothing changes until the state determines it is too expensive to ignore.”
They are calling for reduced speeds and signage similar to the Highway 330/65 intersection in Jasper County.
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Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation said the intersection will be redesigned, adding an overpass, but completion of the project is years away. The change was in the process of being explored at the time of the crash.
T.J. Houdek, 23, was traveling from Quarry Road and entering Highway 18 northbound on his Harley-Davidson on July 18, 2016, when his motorcycle and a semi collided. Houdek died at the scene, and the semi rolled, injuring the trucker.
In the weeks that followed, local residents launched an online petition to the Department of Transportation and voiced their concerns at town hall meetings, calling for an overpass, and the redesign project was later approved.
David Little, the DOT’s assistant district engineer, said the project has been funded, and the timetable calls for purchasing the needed right-of-way in 2021 with construction beginning in 2022.
The plan includes an overpass with a loop ramp in the southeast quadrant and diamond ramps on the west side, Little said.