Mount Vernon Road construction nearing completion

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Road improvements along Mt. Vernon Road southeast in Cedar Rapids are nearing the end of construction after months of disruptions.

Cars wait during construction along Mt. Vernon Road between 38th street and Post Road in Cedar Rapids on Monday, October 14th, 2019. (Marlon Hall/KCRG)

Work started in early spring on Mt. Vernon Road between 38th Street SE and East Post Road. Some people that work along the route said they looking forward to the safety improvements the project will add.

“You know, the one thing that’s going to be relevant for us as well and Mt. Vernon Road is increase of safety along the road,” Greg DeWolf, Vice President of Clinics at Mercy Medical Center, said.

He said road work outside of his MercyCare Vernon Village clinic hasn’t caused too much of a headache, but it has changed how patients get there.

“In the past, you could turn right off of Mt. Vernon Road, now you have to go through the Hy-Vee parking lot either at 42nd street or in the lot directly to reach our clinic,” DeWolf said.

The project is one of many in Cedar Rapids funded by a one-cent local option sales tax that started in 2014. It generated nearly $200 million for road improvements.

The Mt. Vernon Road project updated water lines and is now focused on resurfacing, but there is a safety improvement that will be added before the end of the year.

“Really, the biggest thing is that we’ll have is a new signal at 40th street and Mt. Vernon Road to combine the entrance with the Mercy clinic, Hy-Vee and 40th Street, because we had a lot of accidents in this corridor,” Doug Wilson, with the city of Cedar Rapids, said.

DeWolf said his clinic has had to adjust during construction, including letting patients know about possible delays before their appointment.

“Our employees had to park up in the Hy-Vee parking lot for a little, as well, while the construction was occurring down here," DeWolf said. "We had to redo our parking lot, as well, in the back."

The City said they understand some of the frustrations of home and business owners that come along road construction. They held two open houses and met with those who live along the road before the project started.

“Of course, during construction phase, with our contractor and construction staff we get out and talk to each business and individuals as needed, so we make sure we can accommodate them as much as possible,” Wilson said.

The project is expected to be finished by the end of November.