Crews work through Winter on 218 Interchange

Construction crews plan on working through the winter months to build a $16 million interchange at Highway 218 and U.S. Highway 30.

The interchange is part of the county's plan to make Highway 30 four lanes from west of Cedar Rapids to Ames.

Currently, Highway 218 is closed, sending people on a detour through Van Horne on County V66.

East of Highway 218 is also narrowed to one lane in each direction while the new ramps are being constructed.

While crews will be able to do structural work, they say paving the roads probably won't happen until the spring when it's warmer out.

Officials say thousands of people take Highway 218 every day and they hope this will allow traffic to flow more smoothly.

"We've seen a lot of increase in truck traffic, this is a very important route for farm to market. So we see a lot of grain haulers, a lot of beef and livestock being called to Tama to the packing plant. So really it just gives people an opportunity to work with those trucks so that they have an opportunity to pass and keep going at highway speeds," Cathy Cutler with the Iowa Department of Transportations says.

Once the new lanes are created officials say they plan to change the speed limit to 65 miles per hour.

The Iowa Department of Transportation says they hope to have the interchange finished by the end of 2019.