CONSTRUCTION: First Avenue, Coralville

posted by WMT News/KCRG-TV9 - 

CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- If you've been inching along 1st Avenue in Coralville, you've had plenty of close company.

More than 25,000 vehicles squeeze through amid the construction.

6th Street is now open to 1st Avenue after months of being closed.

This week roadwork will continue on the sidewalks and retaining walls along the north side of 6th Street.

Drivers in the area will notice 1st Avenue is down to one lane in each direction.

Once Vehicles cross 5th Street towards 9th street they'll begin merging to the left.

Crews have reopened the 6th Street connection to 1st Avenue for traffic and pedestrians and traffic has also been shifted to the west side near 6th Street.

That's where pavement removal and storm sewer installation is taking place.

They are also connecting new sanitary and water services to businesses.

The city tells us phase two will start next month.

"As we move the project to the east half and start working on the east half of 1st Avenue there's very minimal utility work, it's mostly just grating rock down and then paving so we're really hoping to see the pace of new pavement kind of pick up as we move over to the east side here," says Scott Larson, the assistant city engineer of Coralville.

The city says rain and weather caused a delay for some of the work on 1st Avenue.

"It slowed us down for sure but now that we've kind of made this shift recently, opened up some additional areas for the contractor to work the focus now is kind of on accelerating things," says Larson.

This project is an attempt to fix old dilapidated roads, potholes, and lights.

The city says it's the last piece of 1st Avenue that has not been upgraded.

Crews will continue to work on the driveways, sidewalks and light poles along the west side of 1st Avenue.

The total cost of this project is over $8 million.

Businesses are open along 1st Avenue, but drivers should still be cautious in the area.

The City of Coralville tells us they are hoping to finish the 1st Avenue project by the end of November.

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