ROAD WORKS: Update On 2013-14 Projects

Construction crews around the metro will be picking up the pace as the cooler weather moves in.

Crews have about six weeks left to finish major interstate projects around the metro before the end of the construction season.

In 2013, metro drivers haven’t been able to make it very far without seeing orange traffic cones.

The Grand Avenue Bridge has been closed since March costing people business.

“You need it to be fast and done, especially when it’s a major intersection.”

Traffic slows for drivers headed west on I-235 when they reach 63rd Street.

A project to add an auxiliary lane to relieve traffic congestion has closed the 73rd Street exit since August.

“I take it a few times a week.”

Crews are working to make lanes wider on I-35 southbound from the 80/35 Interchange to the Raccoon River Bridge.

The southbound exit on to Grand Avenue has also been closed since April.

Fortunately, all of these projects are expected to be done by the end of November.

“We’ve had four major projects were working on this year that have caused some impacts,” said Scott Dockstader, district engineer for District 1 of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Don’t celebrate just yet, especially if you use I-35 on a regular basis.

“We’re switching traffic around. We’ll take northbound and put that into the middle. It will be a little better traffic flow wise,” said Dockstader.

Just like work on the southbound lanes in 2013, the detour will allow crews to work on the northbound lanes, making them wider and adding auxilary lanes.

“We’re going to have a state of the art facility. Three lanes in each direction,” Dockstader told Channel 13 News.

In 2014, drivers will be able to get to Grand Avenue heading south from I-35.

Getting back will be the challenge as the on-ramp from Grand Avenue to I-35 north will be closed.

“Folks wanting to get off or get on to Grand Avenue at that location will detour at Mills Civic Parkway and head back around,” said Dockstader.

Work will also continue in 2014 along I-80 near Altoona.

Traffic will be reduced to two lanes next year as crews complete an interstate re-construction project.

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