Janesville interchange near completion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Janesville interchange near completion

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Black Hawk County held a ribbon cutting Thursday September, 15 to show a years-long project that is near completion. 

The C-57 interchange above Highway 218 is almost complete, according to the Iowa DOT. 

A portion of C-57 has been closed for two years, and the DOT says they just need a few final touches before they open up the overpass.

The interchange was mainly built to alleviate traffic accidents on Highway 218.

"I don't have the exact numbers, but this was in the top 5% as far as crashes total in the state of Iowa," said Pete Hjelmstad, Iowa DOT Field Services Coordinator.

This project will close three gravel roads including: W. Gresham Rd., W. Bennington Rd., and W. Mt. Vernon Rd.

Bill Townsend has lived on W. Gresham Rd. for more than 30 years, he is one of many that have been impacted by the changes.

"I think if you went up and down this road you're gonna get the same reply that you're getting from me, very unhappy about what happened here," said Townsend.

Bill's house is about 100 yards from his entrance to 218, the new construction will barricade his road forcing him to drive nearly two miles to the new interchange.

"It's not a very good plan and a real inconvenience to the whole community," said Townsend.

The DOT says the bulk of the project is complete and they appreciate everyone's patience.

"We appreciate people's patience, C-57 is a very, very, very well traveled commuter route and it's been closed for two years almost and we really appreciate people's patience and understanding as we get this done," said Hjelmstad.

Overall, the DOT says most people in the area are happy and they understand others frustrations.

"We do understand that this is going to cause change, but in the long run, these are changes that are going to make this safer," said Hjelmstad.

The DOT says some drivers have moved the barriers blocking the new interchange to utilized the new route. The DOT stresses, this is illegal and the interchange is not yet open.

The DOT says the project should be complete by early October, weather permitting of course.

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