GRIMES, Iowa – Drivers who routinely use the Urban Loop exchange at I-35/80 and Highway 141, formerly known as Rider Corner, are in for some big changes starting Wednesday night.
As work continues on part of the new flyover ramp project, the Iowa Department of Transportation says it will need to close the entrance ramp from eastbound Iowa 141 to southbound I-35/80 as well as the east and westbound I-35/80 exit ramps. Those closures will happen, weather permitting, at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday.
According to the DOT, the entrance ramp from eastbound Highway 141 to southbound 1-35/80 is expected to open at the end of September. The westbound I-35/80 exit ramp from Highway 141 should reopen in mid-October.
The eastbound exit loop to Highway141 from I-35/80 is being replaced by an exit ramp from northbound I-35/80 at Meredith Drive and the new flyover exit to Highway 141 from northbound I-35/80. The DOT says both should open at the end of August.
Motorists will still be able to use the entrance ramp from Highway 141 to eastbound I-35/80 but the DOT says it will be closed later in the season for reconstruction.
A detour is marked using Iowa 141/Urbandale Drive, Plum Drive, 100th Street, and the 100th Street interchange.
Work on Highway 141 to reconstruct the left turn lanes at 37th Street, just north of the Urban Loop, will also begin Wednesday night. Crews will be closing the left turn lanes will be closed but to allow traffic to turn left onto 37th Street from both directions, the DOT says traffic signals will be temporarily re-programmed to allow straight and left-turn movements together in one direction at a time on Highway 141. This closure is supposed to last about two and a half weeks.
The Iowa Department of Transportation is warning that some of the changes will cause significant backups for drivers during heavy-traffic portions of the day.
The DOT recommends finding an alternate route if possible to avoid delays.