JOHNSTON, Iowa -- If you commute from the northwest metro, you know better than most, that traffic can be a headache. The major reason for the delay is construction. Both the Beaver Avenue bridge and 100th Street bridge are being replaced.
There is good news for commuters though, both projects are slated to be completed on time this November.
“We are confident that bridge will reopen on November 10th,” said Scott Dockstader, Iowa Department of Transportation.
The Department of Transportation knows this stretch of I-80/35 is pivotal to the flow of traffic in the metro. The stretch between the Beaver bridge and the 100th St. bridge takes on almost 100,000 commuters a day. That is why the DOT is offering a $150,000 bonus to the construction company if bridge is done on schedule.
In the meantime, the DOT is working to alleviate congestion in this area.
”Right off the bat, when detours start, we work with the cities to see if there are things we can do together to make the detours work better,” said Jesse Tibodeau, Iowa DOT. “For example, we work with cities in this area to change signal timing and that sort of thing. That gets traffic through congested intersections.”
Tibodeau goes onto say that capacity is the major issue for this stretch. When the DOT did long term planning, over a decade ago, they didn’t expect this much growth in the northwest suburbs. Plans are in the works to catch up though.
“In 2016 and 2017, we are working on the 100th St. interchange. That will open up some capacity near ‘Rider Corner.’ In 2018, we get into the ‘Rider Corner’ interchange reconstruction project. That will last several years. It will cost about $44 million. It should greatly improve capacity in that area of town,” said Tibodeau.