Yearlong Edgewood Rd. Detour Begins Monday

By B.A. Morelli, The Gazette

If traffic delays the past few months on Edgewood Road NE where it meets Highway 100 in Cedar Rapids have caused headaches, what’s ahead may well bring a migraine.

The area where Edgewood meets Highway 100 is scheduled for a yearlong on-site detour.

The detour is scheduled to begin either late Sunday or early Monday.

Motorists on Edgewood Road between Blairs Ferry Road Northeast and 42nd Street will veer west onto two recently constructed temporary lanes. This will allow the removal and replacement of the Edgewood Road bridge as well as grading and paving for the Highway 100 extension below.

The speed limit will be reduced to 25 miles per hour in this area. Cutler said it’s not yet known how long a delay to expect.

Rob Davis, Cedar Rapids engineering manager, said the city plans to install cameras to help fine tune the timing of traffic signals on Edgewood, and also make upgrades on Ushers Ferry Road in anticipation of motorists seeking an alternate route.

“It will be a learned pattern,” Davis said the signal timing. “I don’t think one time setting will work. We will have to make changes to timing throughout the day. The timing when Transamerica workers are coming in the morning, probably won’t work best at the end of the day.”

Ushers Ferry will see an asphalt overlay and a left turn lane on to Blairs Ferry Road. The city is also planning raffic signals for Ushers Ferry and Blairs Ferry.

The detour is part of a $200 million project decades in planning to connect Highway 100 to the west and south to Highway 30. The full project is supposed to be complete by 2020.

Edgewood is a small but critical component of the project, which began earlier this year, because the area already is well developed.

Construction disrupts travel for the 2,000 or so workers at Transamerica’s North American operations offices, Toyota Financial Services, growing retail options and other businesses as well as drivers passing through.

Edgewood has four lanes — two in each direction — and for the next year the 20,000-plus cars a day that motor this route will be squeezed into two lanes.

The DOT had reduced travel to two lanes already, but they’d been able to open extra lanes when construction allowed.

Not anymore.

The other part of the detour includes traffic entering and leaving Highway 100 from Edgewood. Both those entering and leaving Highway 100 will share the off ramp on the north side of Highway 100.

Barricades will keep traffic separated on the ramp, and temporary signals will help with traffic flow in the area, Cutler said.

“We appreciate their patience during this time,” Cutler said. “Hopefully, in the end, we will be getting a better highway there.”

Officials hope the extension of Highway 100 will open up the north and west portions of the city for development as well as better flow through the area.

Also starting Monday, travel on U.S. Route 30 from Stoney Point Road to Edgewood will be reduced from four lanes down to two — one lane in each direction. That will last for three to four weeks, Cutler said.

Ramps along that stretch of U.S. Route 30 also could be closed at times during the next several weeks, she said.

l Comments: (319) 339-3177; brian.morelli@sourcemedia.net

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