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Highway 100 extension tentatively set to open Thursday

Originally planned to open four-mile stretch in early 2017

Bikers turn around at Covington Road in Cedar Rapids at an event celebrating the new two-lane divided Highway 100 on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Bikers, walkers and runners got a chance to see the new four-mile stretch of road, as well as a new two-lane plow that the city has purchased. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Bikers turn around at Covington Road in Cedar Rapids at an event celebrating the new two-lane divided Highway 100 on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Bikers, walkers and runners got a chance to see the new four-mile stretch of road, as well as a new two-lane plow that the city has purchased. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — The first phase of the long-awaited Highway 100 extension project is finally ready for motorists.

Construction of the four-mile stretch of Highway 100 between Edgewood Road and Covington Road is “substantially completed,” according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Cedar Rapids construction office.

The highway is tentatively scheduled to open to traffic Thursday afternoon, weather permitting.

John Vu, the Iowa Department of Transportation project manager, said the project represents a significant addition for the community.

“I think it should be a good thing, a major benefit for motorists, for everybody, to be able to get from A to B easier and quicker,” Vu said.

Vu said the arterial avenue also provides better connectivity for police, fire and emergency responders — the extension was opened up to emergency vehicles during the recent flooding of the Cedar River.

In the news release, motorists are reminded to be mindful of traffic on and near the new stretch of highway.

Before Highway 100 opens, work needs to take place on a traffic signal, some additional signs need to be installed and snow needs to be cleared, Vu said.

The 4-mile stretch of highway originally was planned to open early next year.

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The other half of the Highway 100 project — a 4-mile section from Covington Road to Highway 30 — will complete the roughly $214 million project. Work on that section is anticipated to be finished in 2020.

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

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