Government

Road work on the rise along the Interstate 80/Interstate 380 interchange

But traffic impacts for I-80/I-380 interchange work will be minimal this year: IDOT

A rendering of the Interstate 380/Interstate 80 interchange. Special to the Gazette from the Iowa Department of Transportation
A rendering of the Interstate 380/Interstate 80 interchange. Special to the Gazette from the Iowa Department of Transportation

Eastern Iowa commuters can expect to see construction ramp up this year along the Interstate 80/Interstate 380 interchange.

Much of the work planned for the interchange in 2019 will focus on constructing the eastbound I-80 to northbound I-380 ramp, including the piling and piers that will hold up the ramp.

Traffic impacts again will be minimal this year, said Cathy Cutler, transportation planner with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s District 6 office in Cedar Rapids.

That will be felt more by motorists starting next year, as the current interchange’s lanes begin to close.

“That really is when we start to take those loop ramps out that people will be redirected,” Cutler said. “I would say in 2020, 2021 and 2022.”

In addition to the interchange, the relocated Kansas Avenue SW will open to traffic by midsummer.

Construction also is anticipated to be completed this fall on the I-380/Forevergreen Road interchange.

When finished, the interchange is expected to help manage traffic volumes as ramps close on the I-80/I-380 interchange.

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Officials say that, while the north/south and east/west lanes will remain open throughout the majority of the project, some ramps will have to close for as much as the full construction seasons.

To keep area residents in the loop on the project, the Iowa DOT will host a public meeting 4:30-6:30 p.m. on April 30 at the Coralville Public Library.

To help alleviate traffic, the Iowa DOT and East Central Iowa Council of Governments in October launched 380 Express, a weekday bus service to carry commuters between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

A carpool and ride-sharing program also has been created.

The project’s tentative schedule includes:

• July 2018 through 2020 — Clearing and grubbing as needed, utility relocation, grading in the southwest and northeast quadrants, construction on eastbound to northbound and eastbound to southbound bridges and nighttime shoulder strengthening and widening work. Also includes widening of I-80 bridge over Clear Creek.

• Fall 2019 — Forevergreen Road interchange is expected to be complete

• July 2019 through 2020 — Construction of median bridges on I-380 and U.S. 218, construction on the I-80 bridges, including widening over the U.S. 6 and railroad, construction of the pier for future southbound I-380 to eastbound I-80 ramp, I-380 bridges over Clear Creek and demolition of existing Park Road Bridge.

• October 2020 through 2023 — New lane and various new bridge and ramp construction on I-80 and I-380, and grading and paving for a number of ramps. Final I-80 paving and bridge work and Park Road Bridge construction over I-80 and final erosion control.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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