Community meeting discusses University Avenue plan - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Community meeting discusses University Avenue plan

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Just the like the street itself, revamping University Avenue has been a bumpy road.

Tuesday night, the Iowa Department of Transportation held a meeting to discuss the environmental impact of the project, which includes all of University between the Highway 63 interchange in Waterloo and the 58/27 interchange in Cedar Falls.

But the conversation at the meeting quickly turned to tentative aspects of the project, like several proposed roundabouts.

Jim Lown said that's why he can't rent his property along University.

"They scare (prospective tenants) off with talk of roundabouts at City Hall," Lown said.

But the roundabouts, like the rest of the proposal, still aren't a done deal. The meeting was just part of a lengthy approval process.

"It's just something that is an alternative," said Pete Hjemstad of the Iowa Department of Transportation. "Nothing has been decided at all at this point."

The DOT was required to hold the public meeting to get federal funding. At this point, the project doesn't have any money behind it.

Still, at the meeting, some said they would rather see a minor overhaul of the road over a complete redesign.

But some said that won't be good enough.

"Rebuilding what we have, that's not progress," said Allen Hays of Cedar Falls. "That's just fear of change. That's just, 'it's always been this way, we've got to keep it this way.'"

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