Ready or not, here we go.

Once upon a time here in eastern Iowa, we used to say spring, summer, and fall made up the construction season. These days, it never seems to stop. However, a project where work has continued throughout the winter begins its major construction phase next week.

It's been nearly two years since we first told you of the plans to totally reconfigure the interchange at I-80 and 1st Avenue in Coralville. Work started last fall to turn it into a diverging diamond interchange. Monday, you'll really begin to notice the impacts.

According to the Coralville Engineering Department, northbound and southbound traffic on 1st Avenue will be shifting to the west side of 1st Avenue when crossing over I-80. There will also be just one lane in each direction, resulting in what's called head-to-head traffic. This is going to last a very long time and traffic delays are expected.

The image below shows what to expect beginning on Monday, March 20.

Coralville Engineering Department
Coralville Engineering Department

The traffic on 1st Avenue is expected to cross I-80 head-to-head until the late part of 2024 as the existing bridge is demolished and two, separate bridges, are built. The easternmost bridge should be done late this fall and then traffic on 1st Avenue will shift onto it as the other bridge is built. The bridge furthest west should be finished in the fall of 2024.

The entire diverging diamond interchange should be open by December of 2024. 1st Avenue pedestrian access across 1st Avenue will be maintained throughout the construction project, though it will be on different parts of the bridge(s) as construction progresses.

IDOT Reconstruction Plan For I-80 & First Avenue in Coralville

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