AMES, Iowa – June 29, 2009 – Travel during the upcoming July Fourth holiday could be slowed somewhat by road construction, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). Several projects on Iowa’s interstate roadways may warrant advance planning on the part of drivers.
· Bridge rail reconstruction of the I-380/U.S. 20 interchange bridges and the I-380 bridge over the Cedar River will cause traffic to be shifted away from the bridge rail work; however, two lanes will remain open in each direction on I-380.
· Pavement reconstruction on I-29 from the Little Sioux interchange to the Onawa interchange will create single-lane closures on both the north- and southbound lanes between mileposts 95 and102 and mileposts 106.5 to 113.4. A single lane will be open in each direction.
· Pavement resurfacing on I-29 from the Sloan interchange to the Sergeant Bluff interchange will cause lane closures in both the north- and southbound lanes between mileposts 127 to 132. A single lane will be open in each direction.
· Pavement reconstruction on I-29 in Sioux City will allow for traffic on two lanes in each direction, but ramp closures will be in place at the I-29/Iowa 12 (Riverside Boulevard) interchange.
· Construction of a crossover on I-29 for the bridge replacement over Robinson Ditch in Monona County will cause lane closures in both the north- and southbound lanes between mileposts 119 and 120. A single lane will be open in each direction.
· Bridge construction on westbound I-80 over the Iowa Interstate Railroad bridge at the Adair interchange has resulted in traffic shifting to the eastbound lanes in a head-to-head pattern between mileposts 73 and 78.
· Construction of two bridges has closed eastbound I-80 near the Atlantic interchange. Traffic is shifted to a head-to-head pattern in the westbound lanes between mileposts 58 and 61.
· Widening of two I-29 bridges over the Boyer River in Harrison County near the Loveland interchange at milepost 73 has reduced traffic to a single, 14.5-foot wide lane in both the north- and southbound directions.
· Bridge repair on northbound I-29 at the Missouri Valley interchange at milepost 75 has reduced the roadway to one lane, with the open lane having a 15-foot lane width restriction.
· Retrofit barrier rail work on the northbound I-29 bridge at milepost 84 in Harrison County north of Modale will result in a lane closure.
· Bridge replacement on southbound I-29 at the north side of Council Bluffs in Pottawattamie County, just north of the Honey Creek interchange near milepost 67, has traffic in a head-to-head pattern in the northbound lanes.
· Bridge construction of two bridges and asphalt resurfacing on southbound I-29 in Fremont Coun ty between mileposts 17 and 21 has traffic shifted to a head-to-head pattern in the northbound lanes.
· Bridge construction has closed southbound I-29 in Mills County between mileposts 26 and 30. Traffic is shifted to a head-to-head pattern in the northbound lanes.
· Bridge construction and asphalt resurfacing has closed southbound I-29 between mileposts 39 and 45 in Mills County. Traffic has been shifted to a head-to-head pattern in the northbound lanes.
South Central Iowa
· Pavement replacement projects are underway at four bridges on I-35 in Warren County. Single-lane traffic will be maintained in both the north- and southbound lanes through the work zones at mileposts 43, 47, 49, and 52.
· Pavement reconstruction on southbound I-35 from the Van Wert interchange at milepost 22 to the Osceola interchange at milepost 33 has caused traffic to be placed in a head-to-head pattern in the northbound lanes. Exit 29 is closed for southbound traffic.
· Pavement reconstruction on I-80 at Iowa City between mileposts 240 and 242 will result in both directions of traffic having two lanes available, but the lanes and shoulders are narrower and separated from each other by concrete barrier rail.
· Bridge replacement of the I-80 bridges over the Cedar River will cause a traffic shift, but two lanes will be available in each direction.
· Eastbound I-80 over the Mississippi River at Le Claire is closed for bridge repairs. Travelers are urged to use I-280 when crossing from Iowa into Illinois.
There are many other ongoing construction projects affecting traffic on the state, county and local road systems. Details of all current Iowa DOT construction projects can be found at www.511ia.org.
Tips for driving safely in work zones
· Expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.
· Slow down and do not tailgate. Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead. The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision.
· Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and road workers and their equipment.
· Pay attention to the signs. Warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that reads "End Road Work."
· Obey flaggers. The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.
· Stay alert and minimize distractions. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations, using cell phones or other distractions while driving in a work zone.
· Keep up with the traffic flow. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging as soon as possible. Don't drive right up to the lane closure and then try to merge.
· Be patient and stay calm. Work zones are not there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, road workers are improving the road for your use.
· Watch for persons wearing high visibility (HiViz) apparel. All persons, including the media, are required by federal law to wear HiViz apparel when in highway work zones.
· Prepare for your trip to take a little more time. Check radio, TV, or Web sites (www.511ia.org), or call 511 for traffic information. Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time.
· Be aware that traffic fines for moving violations can more than double in work zones.
Contact for general work zone issues: Mark Bortle at 515-239-1587 or email@example.com
Contacts for project specific information:
Central Iowa - Wes Musgrove at 515-239-1542 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Iowa - Dave Roeber at 641-422-9448 or email@example.com
Northwest Iowa - Darwin Bishop at 712-274-5826 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwest Iowa - George Feazell at 712-243-7628 or email@example.com
South Central Iowa - Fred Bartos at 641-469-4005 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastern Iowa - Bruce Kuehl at 319-364-0235 or email@example.com