WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — A stretch of Interstate 80 under construction starting at 60th Street in West Des Moines and reaching all the way to De Soto has been the site of over 40 accidents since June 1st.
The project is part of a lane expansion project and construction isn’t expected to be completed for another couple of years.
The Iowa DOT is urging commuters to watch their speeds, avoid tailgating, and avoid distracted driving to lower gridlock and prevent more crashes.
Austin Yates, a Traffic Operations Engineer for the Iowa DOT, said that there are multiple factors contributing to traffic jams on the stretch of the interstate.
“A huge amount of commuter traffic, huge amount of over-the-road semi-truck traffic, the traffic flow is very directional. Eastbound in the morning, westbound in the afternoon. So all of that combines together to make it a really crappy commuter route even without construction,” Yates said.
Yates said that commuters’ best option may be to avoid the stretch of I-80 altogether.
“I’m a very impatient commuter myself, if there’s something like that I’m going to go around cause it’s really not going to take that much longer right? You’re talking on the order of a couple minutes to take surface streets versus the interstate freeway system,” Yates said.