CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Road construction season is upon us, and many drivers found that out firsthand as they experienced unexpected delays on Thursday.
Some actually found themselves mixed up in two different projects in one area.
Crews are putting on a new layer of asphalt on Blairs Ferry Road from Miller Road to Wayside Circle. That county project is expected to last until May 26.
Just around the corner, Edgewood Road is reduced to one lane in each direction. It’s the beginning phases of the long-term Department of Transportation project to extend Highway 100, which means construction in that area will continue throughout the season.
One of the city’s busiest roads got busier Thursday as orange cones and contractors took over.
“It’s about 6,000 vehicles a day,” said Linn County Secondary Road Department’s Garret Reddish.
Drivers could only get through on Blairs Ferry Road by following a pilot car.
“It depends on the work the contractor is doing on the given day, but these fifteen to twenty minute delays could be typical,” Reddish said.
People traveling to Viola Gibson Elementary School, nearby, were caught off guard. Principal Shannon Kehoe said she was concerned when students didn’t show up on time.
“We weren’t exactly sure if that was construction related or if there was a problem with a bus. We really had little information to start the day. We have since found out those delays will be there throughout the month, so we can plan accordingly now,” Kehoe said.
Deb Dvorak is also going to plan ahead after her morning commute doubled. She said she was stuck on Highway 100.
“I will definitely take an alternate route, which I’m sure everybody else will be too, so it’s probably going to take longer no matter which way we go,” Dvorak said.
The county and the DOT said they didn’t coordinate construction times.
Reddish said once contractors realized the backups were happening, they tried to make alterations to their construction process to prevent that. On the busy Blairs Ferry Road, though, it was difficult.
Road crews and engineers ask drivers to find and alternate route or expect those delays.
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