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Coralville's First Avenue Construction Project Delayed

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CORALVILLE, Iowa Road construction on First Avenue is causing headaches for local businesses and is about to do the same for students and Hawkeye Football fans.

Dan Holderness, city engineer for the city of Coralville, said Monday morning that summer rains, high water levels in the Clear Creek, and utility issues have caused a one-month delay on the first phase of the reconstruction project.

"Unfortunately there's so much work to get done so there's no way we can get it done by the fall football season," Holderness said. "We're going to tell people to allow a little extra time. Leave early. There will be some extra delays but ya know, it's all for a good project so that's just one of the growing pains."

Local businesses are already feeling a pain of the ripped up roads.

"I know that business is down for most of us on this route and that's very, very concerning to us," said Dr. Bradi Arnold, a chiropractor at Family First Chiropractic.

"It's kind-of a nightmare right now," Dr. Arnold said. "I used to come to work on 1st avenue and I avoid it now. So I can't blame people for avoiding it know."

Dr. Arnold said the convenience of being located just off Interstate 80 used to be one of the ways she advertised her business.

"Get off on 1st avenue, get an adjustment and be on your way," she said. "That's really not the case anymore sadly."

Kelly McCann of the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce said not all businesses are being negatively impacted by the construction.

First Avenue is usually the route football teams use to get to the Stadium. University of Iowa sports information director Phil Haddy and Coralville Police said Monday they are still trying to figure out which road the football teams will take to get to Kinnick. A meeting about what to do has been scheduled.

Dr. Arnold hopes fans that still use First Avenue this season will notice nearby stores and is cautiously optimistic that may translate into more customers.

The entire First Avenue construction project is expected to finish in December as originally projected by Coralville City.

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