SUMMER CONSTRUCTION: 73rd Street Exit Closing

73rd

It’s a temporary slowdown to hopefully speed you up later.

Beginning Tuesday, the exit ramp from I-235 west on to 73rd Street in Windsor Heights closes until October.

The Iowa Department of Transportation says the road widening project will relieve interstate congestion.

Even on a Sunday afternoon, Exit 3, the ramp that leads drivers from westbound lanes on I-235 to 73rd Street sees steady traffic.

“I take it a few times a week.  Sometimes I take it every day,” said Hannah Weis.

Drivers take the ramp to the gym, a popular spot to grab a burger, and to a produce stand that sells locally grown fruits and veggies.

Nichole Phillips has run Joocy Froot Produce for twelve years.

Her business depends on drivers seeing her signs as they exit I-235 on to 73rd Street.

“We get a lot of people stopping at the last minute as they see our stand,” said Phillips.

Over the years, Phillips has developed a fair share of regulars.

Without traffic exiting on to the ramp, she fears she’ll miss out on new customers.

“It’s not like I can pick up and find a new location based on the ramp closing,” Phillips told Channel 13 News.

Drivers can still get to 73rd Street by exiting on 63rd and heading north to University Avenue.

It will add a few more minutes to the commute for Hannah Weis, but she says when the road re-opens in October it will be worth it.

“It will just take some patience,” said Weis.

Nichole Phillips hopes she can keep customers coming until then.

“I was actually planning on going a little later this year because sweet corn is going to go a little later,” said Phillips.

Later in the construction season, the westbound entrance ramp at 63rd Street will close for 11 days.

You can check construction progress by calling 511 or checking online at 511ia.org.