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Cedar Rapids seeks $1.2 million from state for Collins Road work

New plan involves requesting about 15 percent of proposed project's total cost

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Officials in Cedar Rapids are asking the state to chip in on an updated plan to reduce congestion and add amenities to the city’s heavily-traveled Collins Road.

Mayor Ron Corbett, along with city council member Ralph Russell and other city staff, made the request for $1.2 million in state funds from the Iowa Transportation Commission at the commission’s Tuesday meeting in Dubuque.

Corbett said the project — estimated to cost around $7.5 to $8.5 million — aims to address growing congestion issues and a lack of bicycle and pedestrian amenities on Collins Road.

The road averages between 23,000 and 38,000 vehicles a day. That number is anticipated to reach 34,000 to 52,000 daily vehicles by 2030.

“We have various times in our day where traffic really ceases and barely moves,” Corbett said. ”We need to make these critical improvements.”

Earlier this year, Cedar Rapids officials stepped back from a nearly $13 million, three-year plan to widen Collins Road and create an overpass near Lindale Mall. At that time city officials asked the Iowa Department of Transportation to remove the project from its budget.

With the new plan, the city is seeking 15 percent of the project’s total cost.

“It’s coming back to you now in a really different format,” Russell said. “What we’ve done recently is develop a revised concept that we’re back to you to request funding for.”

The new project — planned for 2018 -2019 between Northland and Twixt Town roads — is the third of six phases of Collins Road work. All told, about $88 million of unaddressed needs still exist on the road, Russell said.

The commission did not make a decision Tuesday on the city’s request.

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