CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Construction of the Highway 100 is underway in Linn County.
The work will cost $200 million and will extend the road west and then south to Highway 30.
The project will go in stages. Phase one runs from Edgewood Road Northeast to Covington Road. Phase two connects Covington to Highway 30.
Work has now started on the first piece of the project. The Iowa Department of Transportation or DOT said this has been in the works for about 50 years.
It’s already causing headaches for some drivers, but developers are anxious to see the progress.
Crews are in place and work has officially started to extend Highway 100 after decades of preparation.
“Politics have entered into it at times, obviously funding has been a big concern. We’ve had approved projects and then lost funding. So, really it just was getting everything all ready,” said Iowa DOT Transportation Planner Cathy Cutler.
Crews are moving dirt and utilities. The Highway 100 project is one many believe will open up the west side of the city for further development.
Joe Ahmann is developing the Fountains, which is a six building, mixed-use project near the construction site.
“It has also brought tenants to the area that have been asking about when is Highway 100 going to open? How will it impact? What will the traffic be, and then I think that’s affecting people’s decisions on locating out here,” Ahmann said.
Cutler said by 2018, drivers will be able to use the first four miles of the new highway.
“Really, the work people are seeing right now is preliminary, getting ready to build the highway 100 lanes, which will go underneath Edgewood and then a brand new bridge on top of highway 100 for Edgewood,” Cutler said.
The DOT said the interchange will be what’s called a Single Point Urban Interchange. It is only the second of its kind in the state. Cutler said traffic on Edgewood would be impacted for about 18 months as that portion of the project continues.
“The people that have to drive through this for a year and a half, we are very sorry for their inconvenience,” Cutler said.
As for Ahmann, he’s interested to see how the area around the highway and his property develops.
“I’m sure that’s something to be seen,” Ahmann said.
The DOT said it is working with contractors to reduce the amount of time traffic is impacted on Edgewood Road. For now, however, it’ll be November 2015 before the traffic scene returns to normal. The entire eight-mile project is slated for completion by 2020.
The DOT said a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place for the project later this month.
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