Underpass to go in at Hwy 58 and Viking Rd in CF - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Underpass to go in at Hwy 58 and Viking Rd in CF

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Relief is on the way for drivers at one of the state's most dangerous intersections.

The Iowa Department of Transportation rates Highway 58 and Viking Road in Cedar Falls as the state's 5th most dangerous intersection.

Police have responded to 77 crashes there between 2008 and 2013.

The DOT and the city are working together to reshape Highway 58 through Cedar Falls with interchanges replacing 3 stop lights.

First up, the Viking Road intersection - which will see Highway 58 go underneath Viking Road.

If you've driven through Cedar Falls, you've probably come to the intersection of Highway 58 and Viking Road.

It is one of the worst in the state.

There's high speed traffic, long backups, pedestrians crossing the lanes, and a bike path, too.

Combine all that with a growing shopping area and the nearby industrial park and you've got the makings for some serious traffic jams.

Randy Nutt avoids the intersection if he can.

"I definitely don't go down 58 going that way because there could be a big line trying to turn in where the stores are. That's where it really starts to back up," said Nutt.

Jillian Wieneke has seen traffic increase over the years.

"It's always crazy busy with how much they're putting out here, with the Target and the brand new Old Navy, and I worked here several years and it's continued to grow and grow and grow. This intersection has always been a problem and it's continued to get worse," said Wieneke.

But the city and DOT think the solution will be an underpass interchange with Highway 58 going under Viking Road.

"We've had 77 accidents, including the mayor who got rear-ended last year on it. A lot of those accidents are because 58 doesn't have a long enough left-turn lane so cars are stopped right on 58. This will solve the problem completely. 58 will go underneath the exchange and the exchange will go over and have exit roads on both sides and a stop light right in the center of the intersection," said mayor pro tem David Wieland.

The Federal Highway Administration still has to sign off on the environmental impact of the plan but city officials don't think that'll be a problem.

City leaders say construction bids could be let later this summer with construction beginning next year.

The Viking Road interchange would be done first because it falls into one of the city's taxing districts.

The city will put $10 million toward the project with the DOT picking up $16 million.

Other interchanges would be built at Highway 58's intersections with Greenhill Road, Ridgeway Avenue and Highway 20 under the long-term plan.

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