State seeks input on Herbert Hoover Highway interchange

That work would precede widening of I-80

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IOWA CITY — With plans in place to widen Interstate 80 from four lanes to six east of Iowa City, the state first must update the Herbert Hoover Highway interchange.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has identified two options — a standard diamond interchange or one that incorporates roundabouts — to replace the existing bridge and interchange at I-80 and Herbert Hoover.

“As we extend the six lanes out from Iowa City to the east, this is just like the next step,” said Cathy Cutler, transportation planner with the Iowa DOT’s District 6 in Cedar Rapids.

But first the Iowa DOT wants to gather local input on the two options for the interchange, which will need to be updated to accommodate two additional lanes on the interstate.

A public information meeting will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Sept. 12 at Iowa City’s Helen Lemme Elementary School, 3100 E. Washington St. Iowa DOT staff will be available to discuss proposed improvements to the interchange and answer questions.

Widening I-80 from Iowa City — from four lanes to six — to the Herbert Hoover, plus a standard diamond interchange, is estimated to cost about $32.5 million. A roundabout interchange brings the total cost down to about $30 million.

Cutler said the roundabout design — which replaces intersections at the point that interstate ramps meet the highway with roundabouts — would move traffic faster than a standard interchange.

Construction on the project is planned for 2021.

Johnson County Engineer Greg Parker said the county has scheduled a Herbert Hoover rehabilitation project to reconstruct the highway from the interchange east to the county line.

The county will complete design work for the local project once the Iowa DOT selects an interchange, Parker said.

All three phases of that project — planned for 2019-2021 — are estimated to cost a total $10 million.

“We should be done and out of there before the state starts,” Parker said.

l Comments: (319) 339-3175; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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