Iowa DOT Reveals Plan for I-380 Widening/Reconstruction of a Cedar Rapids Interchange
You don't need me to tell you that construction has been prevalent along I-380 within the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area and near the I-80 interchange. After the announcement of plans for an I-380 interchange reconstruction project earlier this fall, the Iowa Department of Transportation has revealed a possible timeline for plenty more work, this time on Cedar Rapids' south side and beyond.
Next spring, the Tower Terrace Road interchange on I-380 in Hiawatha should be fully completed.
Earlier this fall, the IDOT announced they'll be rebuilding the Boyson Road interchange in Hiawatha. Work on that project is expected to begin in 2024.
The IDOT has now revealed a preliminary plan for the widening of I-380 south of Cedar Rapids, as well as the reconstruction of an interstate interchange within the city. Let's begin with the widening.
According to a video posted by the Iowa DOT, and included in this story below, I-380 would be transformed into 6 lanes from about Highway 30 to the Shueyville/Swisher interchange. That's approximately 5.2 miles.
The IDOT's plan is to remove 7 to 9 inches of the existing asphalt overlay on I-380 to get down to the original concrete. Once that's removed, new lanes and shoulders would be added before an asphalt overlay is added to complete the driving surface.
It was also revealed that the southbound I-380 rest stop south of Cedar Rapids has a parking and pavement reconstruction project planned. That will close the rest area during the construction, currently scheduled for 2026. When completed, more truck parking will be available.
The IDOT also plans to reconstruct the Wright Brothers Blvd. (airport exit) interchange. Like Tower Terrace Road and the future interchange at Boyson Road, it would be a diverging diamond interchange (DDI). According to IDOT transportation planner Cathy Cutler, "DDI's decrease vehicle conflict points by almost half and remove left-hand turn lanes across oncoming traffic." The video below shows how that type of interchange is navigated:
The new Wright Brothers Blvd. interchange would feature two bridges, with three through lanes on each, plus turning lanes. They would be built on either side of the existing bridge so traffic can continue to use the current bridge during the early parts of construction. Pedestrian paths would also be available through the interchange.
Below are preliminary concept renderings of what the bridges would look like:
The image below shows a pedestrian on the walkway along the north bridge, looking south. The current plan for the pedestrian walkway is for it to be 12 feet wide. It would match the design of the one on the Tower Terrace Road bridge.
The preliminary timeline for the I-380 and widening and reconstruction of the Wright Brothers Blvd. interchanges are below. The IDOT is hosting a meeting to discuss the right-of-way impacts of the project today, November 30, from 5 to 6 pm at the Iowa DOT District 6 Office. It will be held in Conference Room A at 5455 Kirkwood Blvd. SW in Cedar Rapids. Additional information can be found here.
Below the timeline image is an IDOT video with further details on preliminary plans for the projects.