Truck drivers worried about location of TestIowa site planned for Cedar Rapids

Semi-trucks operate in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 5, 2020. (Brian Tabick/KCRG)
Semi-trucks operate in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 5, 2020. (Brian Tabick/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: May. 5, 2020 at 8:51 PM CDT
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On a normal work-day, the narrow 50th Avenue SW, which runs between J Street SW and Bowling Street SW near U.S. Highway 30, sees quite a bit of semi-truck traffic.

“It’s congested some,” Teresa Zimola-Ransom, a truck driver who works in the area, said. “There’s a lot of truck traffic and cars of people that work down in that area. It’s a heavier industrial area.”

Zimola-Ransom said about 20 trucks from her business alone drive this road every day. With Gov. Kim Reynolds announcing the TestIowa site at the Kirkwood Continuing Education Campus would be opening Thursday, Zimola-Ransom is worried about a lot more traffic for drivers who aren’t used to this part of town.

That includes people getting tested and those who might not know that you must be pre-approved to get a test.

“You have to go through TestIowa to get a number," Zimola-Ransom said. “There’s going to be people that are wanting to get tested and don’t have the preapproval”

Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart said he doesn’t believe traffic in the area will be too much of an issue but said there’s a reason this parking lot is being set up for testing.

“It’s a really large parking lot, it’s pretty accessible off of the interstate and off of 30, and Kirkwood and Prairie are closed,” Hart said.

While Hart isn’t too concerned with the number of cars driving this street to get tested, he is asking people to be careful

“If you can avoid that area while testing being done, great,” Hart said.

Zimola-Ransom understands these people do need to get tested. She just wants people who are unfamiliar with this stretch to be safe while sharing it with truck drivers.

“A lot of cars don’t realize that it takes both lanes of 50th Avenue to turn," Zimola-Ransom said. “Even with the traffic control from either CRPD or DOT, there’s going to be a lot of traffic.”