CEDAR RAPIDS — Already no leisurely Sunday drive, a busy section of Interstate 380’s S-curve north of downtown Cedar Rapids will be more dicey for drivers through November.
A $1.3 million project to overlay bridge decking already has shifted northbound and southbound lanes, and will affect traffic patterns more in the days ahead.
Steven McElmeel, construction manager for the Iowa Department of Transportation’s District 6, said crews are putting in a median crossover in preparation for a detour.
The repair work on the northbound lanes of the bridge will be done in two stages: first the inside two lanes will be closed, then the outside two lanes will be closed.
Some of the northbound traffic will be diverted over the temporary median crossing to travel in what is now a southbound lane, according to Newman Abuissa, resident construction engineer. Only one northbound lane will cross over for about half a mile, and then cross back over to the usual northbound lanes, Abuissa said.
Despite the shift, southbound interstate traffic will maintain three lanes. The shoulders will be used to shift the lanes over. Southbound traffic will never cross over the median.
For the duration of the construction, the H Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-380 will be closed. From about mid- to late September until the end of construction, the J Street/H Avenue offramp from northbound I-380 also will be closed.
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Catherine Cutler, an Iowa DOT district transportation planner, said the area under construction — about between Eighth Street and H Avenue NE — sees up to 87,000 vehicles per day.
The segment under construction is near city-operated automated cameras that issue tickets for speeding. However, Iowa DOT intends to keep the limit at 55 mph.
The agency said it would keep an eye on the speed and post advisory speeds if warranted in the work zone.
The project will last until the end of construction season this year, likely November.
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