Highway 100 bypass opening to traffic next month

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG)- After four years of construction and many more years of planning, drivers are finally getting closer to using all of the Highway 100 bypass in Cedar Rapids. The entire eight-mile-long bypass should open to traffic sometime in late November.

The framework of traffic signs lies on the still uncompleted portion of Highway 100 in western Cedar Rapids. The final segment of the bypass could open in late November.

Doug McDonald, the DOT District Construction Engineer, said all the recent rain hasn’t helped.

But the $200-million dollar highway project is close to on schedule. That should mean drivers will be able to go the distance sometime after Thanksgiving.

The first four miles of the bypass around the western side of Cedar Rapids to Highway 30 opened in 2016.

McDonald said fortunately the heaviest amounts of rain recently fell after some of the pavement was already in place.

That meant workers didn’t have to wait as long for things to dry out to resume construction.

He said it’s likely to become one of the most significant road projects in the area in decades.

“I think once it’s open you’ll see a decrease in traffic in I-380 from Highway 30 to the north. I would have to think anyone coming into town from the west side and going to the north it would be pretty attractive to take this,” McDonald said.

McDonald said one of the biggest jobs in the remaining weeks of construction is to put down the final two inches or so of asphalt to complete the road itself.

When the first segment of the Highway 100 bypass opened in 2016, the event was marked by letting hikers and bikers have a go at the new road first.

The DOT says there’s no word yet on what sort of celebration is planned for the final connection.