University Avenue corridor project up for discussion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University Avenue corridor project up for discussion


It's likely no surprise to anyone in the Cedar Valley that University Avenue needs work. But how much, and what kind, is up for debate.

Tuesday evening, the Iowa Department of Transportation held its second public information meeting with residents.

"We're here to get their feedback on what we're looking at, what we should continue forward with looking at as the study progresses," said Gretchen Ivy, from HNTB Company working with the Iowa DOT on the project.

The Iowa DOT is considering five options for improving the University Avenue corridor. Three of the options include cutting the stretch from six lanes, to four. That's something Cedar Falls resident Larry Wyckoff is adamantly against. He spoke with business owners along the stretch from Highway 58 to Greenhill Road.

"I went out, did a little petition, 93% of the people I talked to do not want to go from six lanes down to four," said Wyckoff.

Ivy said they are listening to this, and all other concerns. But she explained the current traffic levels do not support maintaining a six lane road.

"Since the corridor was widened to six lanes, the traffic has shifted in the area. When US 218 was constructed, for instance, a lot of the through traffic has shifted to that corridor," she said.

Removing the lanes would save money on maintenance. It would also leave room for adding bicycle and pedestrian lanes -- something the local Blue Zones team would like to see more of. But the number of lanes is not the only controversial topic at the meeting.

"We're looking at optimizing traffic signals to make the traffic signals flow better and traffic flow better along the corridor. And we are looking at roundabouts. So we are getting questions about how does traffic flow through the roundabout. Especially a multi-lane roundabout," said Ivy.

The Iowa DOT had many people on hand to answer questions about how the roundabouts work, and why they might work for this project. The main point to come out of the meeting -- nothing is final. And they are listening to folks like Wyckoff as they figure out the best route for University Avenue.

The Iowa DOT is taking public comments on the project through August 20th. You can submit those online by clicking here.

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