Cedar Falls takes control of University Avenue - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls takes control of University Avenue

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Someone else will soon be in charge of filling potholes on University Avenue in Cedar Falls.

Monday the Cedar Falls City Council voted to transfer jurisdiction from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to the city. Now Cedar Falls will be in charge of repairs and any reconstruction on University, for a two mile stretch from Main Street to Midway Drive.

"We knew it needed work. It's so like so many roads across the state. It was competing for limited money and we didn't want to hand over a road like that to a community like that needs total repair," said Peter Hjelmstad, DOT.

The DOT will pay the city of Cedar Falls twenty million dollars, the same it would have cost to fix the road.

The department says the transition is due, University Avenue is now more of a local road instead of a road people use to drive across the state.

Cedar Falls Director of Administrative Services Richard McAlister says the city has been in negotiations with the DOT for more than half a year.

The road, however, might get a little worse before it gets better. It might take two to three years for any reconstruction to happen.

"Right now for the most part it's six lanes wide and will be a four lane road that will move the traffic more efficiently than today. The amount of money the DOT has transferred to us includes turning lanes as well as synchronized traffic lights," said McAlister.

McAlister says he expects the council to vote on different design policies. Once that's complete engineers will begin design work. When that's done there will be some additional public hearings, specifically for property owners along the stretch of road and how that will affect them.

The transfer of control will go before the Iowa Transportation Commission early June for final approval. 

Negotiations are still in the works for Waterloo's part of University Avenue.

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