New traffic signal expected to mitigate dangerous Cedar Rapids intersection

A dangerous intersection in Cedar Rapids will soon get safety improvements.

The City of Cedar Rapids is installing a new traffic light at the intersection of Mount Vernon Road Southeast and 40th Street Southeast, near the entrance to Hy-Vee.

The portion of Mount Vernon Road from 38th Street and East Post Road will also be resurfaced, and the project includes sidewalk reconstruction and water main and storm sewer improvements in that area as well.

The total cost for this work is $2 million, most of which will come from the city's Paving for Progress funding.

However, Cedar Rapids will receive a $500,000 grant for the new traffic signal from the Iowa Department of Transportation because the DOT determined that the intersection was so dangerous that the light was necessary.

According to the City of Cedar Rapids, there have been 22 crashes at or near the Hy-Vee entrance since 2015.

The project will also reconfigure how the lanes on Mount Vernon Road around that entrance are set up.

"We'll have two lanes inbound, one lane outbound, and then a center left-turn lane, whereas there were just four lanes, two lanes in each direction, before," Paving for Progress Program Manager Doug Wilson said.

Construction and road repairs are expected to start in April and wrap up by September.