URBANDALE, IOWA -- One of the worst areas to drive in the metro is Rider Corner at the northwest corner of 80/35, but the Iowa Department of Transportation has a plan to do something about the traffic congestion.
The DOT’s next major project in the metro will be to overhaul that exchange and Thursday night you will get to see the updated proposed plans.
“The traffic has just outgrown the area and it’s time for it to be updated,” said Mike Clayton, Iowa Dept. of Transportation District 1 planner. “It’s really going to help with traffic there during the morning and afternoon commutes.”
The DOT has been busy fixing that area during the last 2 years. They’ve already replaced the 100th St Bridge and Beaver Bridge and are now moving to tackle the main issue, Rider Corner.
The proposed $44 million plan involves adding a lane on 80/35. In addition, the DOT wants to make it easier to get on and off of Highway 141. In the plan, engineers want to remove the loop around ramps and install a direct ramp. Also, they have added an intersection at Meredith. Right now, you have to go up and around.
Over the last decade there has been tremendous growth in the northwest corridor. So the focus for the DOT is going to be to help all the people who live there. That said, the biggest addition will be the flyover ramp that takes you from 80/35 directly to Highway 141.
“There is a volume going through there. That northwest corridor is growing,” said A.J. Johnson, City Manager, city of Urbandale.
Clayton says that this will greatly help to alleviate congestion. He insists thatiIf you take away the loop-a-round ramps and install the flyover, you are not only making thing quicker, you’ll make it safer. It does that by removing stopping points for interaction.
“I’ve been to every meeting and I’m very pleased at what they’ve presented,” said Johnson.
It’s almost a done deal but they still want public feedback and they will present it in Urbandale Thursday night. If you have something to say about it they want you there.
The fourth meeting is from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Giovannetti Community Shelter, 8900 Douglas Ave., Urbandale.
“We are getting positive feedback from most parties it involves,” said Johnson. “Some are concerned about how this will change the traffic patterns in residential areas.”
Johnson goes onto say they the city will work with the both the DOT and residents to make sure it won’t affect the safety of the neighborhoods.
Once they buy all the needed property to build, they want to start construction in 2018 and they’d like to be finished by 2020.