Construction timeline for I-380/80 Interchange

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- More than 90,000 drivers use the I-380 and 80 interchange each day. And those drivers will start to see some changes and delays as crews begin a $350 million construction project.

Traffic from each direction merges together at this interchange, making it one of the more congested areas in the state.

Tiffani Trappe uses the interchange about twice a week.

"It's going to be a nuisance it's going to take me extra more time to wake up in the morning. And I'm going to have to go all the way around it'll be a pain."

Construction for this project has already started. Last year crews did utility work. This year they're working on medians and secondary roads.

"Such as the Forever Green Road interchange and relocating Kansas Avenue in Johnson County,” Cathy Cutler said.

Work on the interstates and interchange likely won't begin until 2020.

"So for about three years it could add miles and minutes to be the commute,” Cutler said.

The DOT is encouraging drivers to carpool or utilize new transportation services. An express bus will start this fall and shuttle people between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

"This is going in tandem with the big construction project so people can share a ride either with someone else or on a bus,” Transit Administrator Brock Grenis said.

Their belief is that fewer cars will translate to safer roads. And safety is the goal of this entire project. The DOT says the current interchange model won't be able to handle much more traffic.

"So this new turbine interchange, you won't be using the cloverleaf, so trucks won't have to slow down to merge into traffic they'll be able to maintain their speed,” Culter said.

And that's projected to happen as the region continues to grow.