AMES, Iowa -- The traffic in Ames has already been quite a headache this summer, with orange cones lining Interstate 35 and Highway 30. Construction crews fill nearly all the median space, making the area very crowded.
“We’ve got over 40,000 cars a day on I-35, on I-30 we’ll have over 30,000 cars a day,” said Scott Dockstader of the Iowa Department of Transportation.
To make the situation even worse, a big ramp is closing. Starting on Tuesday, the ramp from I-35 to Highway 30 east will be closed for almost two months. Luckily for commuters who take use this road, the detour is short. Drivers only have to take Highway 30 westbound one exit to Dayton Ave before turning around.
Long term this will help with traffic flow, but the real goal is to make it safer. At this exchange, there have been over 300 accidents in the last decade, many of which can be directly attributed to clover leaf on and off ramps.
This is exactly was happened to a semi-truck in June; the driver took the turn too fast and rolled. Soon, this shouldn’t be an issue.
A plan is in the works to make the area safer, including the addition of a fly-over ramp to 30 westbound and a direct-dedicated lane to 30 eastbound, giving drivers more space and time to merge safely.
The $24 million project is set to open in November of 2018, and Dockstader says they are on track for this date.
“We’re hopeful that progress they’ve made this year and with a good working year next year, that they will get the project done on time and receive the incentive,” said Dockstader.