Construction Update: Johnson Avenue Roundabout

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The start of the 2018-19 school year is less than two weeks away for Cedar Rapids public schools.

Some parents on the West side of the city may spot the work near Hoover Elementary School.

City crews are working on adding a roundabout at the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Wiley Boulevard and they're planning on having the roundabout open just in time for the start of school in Cedar Rapids next week.

Johnson Avenue East of Hoover Elementary school remains closed.

The Hoover Elementary parking lot is available off Wiley Boulevard or off Johnson Avenue coming from the West.

This week crews are paving the roundabout and sidewalks near Hoover Elementary School.

This is part of a two-year project known as the "Paving for Progress Project."

The city is also fixing the deteriorated roads in the area.

Last year they had 14 crashes on Johnson Avenue and the city hopes by putting in a roundabout, it'll help cut down on the number of crashes in the area.

"You only have to cross 15 feet, stop and look another 15 feet whereas in about a 90 foot crossing of Wiley Boulevard. So along with working with the schools, we'll work with the parents and the kids so they understand how the roundabout works but overall it will be much safer than the signal was," says Doug Wilson, the Program Manager for the Paving for Progress Project.

They say roundabouts helps slow down traffic speed and the severity of crashes.

"There's always a lot of skepticism about a roundabout because we don't have very many in cedar rapids but we did complete one out by Prairie Point Middle School on Kirkwood Boulevard and the reception has been excellent to that once people understood how it worked even the bus drivers really like it," says Wilson.

Next year crews will begin putting in a roundabout at Jacolyn Drive and Johnson Avenue.

The total cost of this project is around 5 million dollars.

The city is also hosting an open house at Hoover Elementary School this Wednesday and Saturday with information about the roundabout.

Open house:

Wednesday, August 15 | 5 pm – 7 pm
Saturday, August 18 | noon – 2 pm

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