U.S. 20 stretches across the northern half of Iowa between Sioux City and Dubuque, mostly as a freeway or expressway. Upgrades to the corridor have been underway since 1958 and continued with a 18-mile section opened between Iowa 4 and Moorland on December 15, 20101 and a 26-mile portion of new roadway opened on November 19, 2012 between Early and Rockwell City.2 The initial sections of U.S. 20 expressway were widened between Moville and Sioux City in 1958, and in Dubuque in 1959. Work progressed in eastern and central Iowa from that point.3
By 2012, 44 miles of two-lane U.S. 20 remained across the state, from Moville to Early. A five year project to expand U.S. 20 from Moville to east of Correctionville in Woodbury County was slated to begin in 2014.2 A $215 million project was eventually announced by IowaDOT in June 2015.3 Work on the portion from Correctionville to Early remained unfunded at that time, with an estimated completion at the time by 2022.2
Work ultimately progressed on U.S. 20 expansion, and in June 2017 four miles were completed from Correctionville to Cushing. The four lane highway from Correctionville to Minnesota Avenue, three miles to the west, followed by December 2017.3 The remainder of U.S. 20 work in Ida and Sac Counties continued into 2018, with the last secton at Holstein finished with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on October 19.4
U.S. 20 Iowa Guides
- Interstate 129 - Sioux City
- U.S. 20/75 East - Sioux City
- East - Dubuque
- West - Dubuque to Manchester
- West - Independence to Waterloo
- U.S. 20/75 West - Sioux City
Origins of the freeway plan for U.S. 20 include 1970 requests by Iowa for additional miles to the Interstate system. The US route enters Iowa coupled with I-129 and U.S. 75 from South Sioux City, Nebraska, continuing east from I-29 as a freeway for another four miles. This alignment of U.S. 20 was approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on June 25, 1979. Subsequent action by AASHTO established U.S. 20 Business through both South Sioux City, Nebraska along Dakota Avenue and Sioux City, Iowa along Gordon Drive on October 13, 1979.
U.S. 20 also travels a lengthy freeway between Webster City and Manchester, including an overlap with Interstate 380 at Waterloo. A final freeway portion of U.S. 20 exists in Dubuque. See Jason Hancock's Iowa Highways page for a detailed timeline of all upgrades to U.S. 20 across the state.
- "New U.S. Highway 20 section opens." The Messinger (Fort Dodge, IA), February 6, 2011.
- "After 50 years, Highway 20 expansion inching toward completion." Sioux City Journal (SD), November 17, 2012.
- "Hwy. 20 completion in sight." Sioux City Journal (SD), January 30, 2018.
- "Iowa drivers, rejoice: 60 years later, northern Iowa's Highway 20 expansion is finally done." Des Moines Register (IA), January 30, 2018.
Page Updated 02-13-2020.