A road project that started nearly 40 years ago is now a reality. And with the Highway 100 bypass completely open as of late Wednesday afternoon, the question becomes what’s next?
City leaders say the completion of the $200-million dollar, eight-mile Highway 100 bypass means development on that side of Cedar Rapids will speed up.
While construction was underway, the city of Cedar Rapids put together a master development plan to get ready for growth.
Scott Olson, A Cedar Rapids council member and commercial realtor, says his best guess now is the newly-opened E Avenue N.W. interchange with Highway 100 will draw the most attention for commercial projects.
“The early commercial development will be mainly small strip malls or possibly restaurants or service type businesses. There could also be some convenience stores,” he said.
Olson said residential developers started work near the bypass route years ago in anticipation.
Some commercial projects may wait until there are more people living nearby.
But Olson said city leaders approved a 40-acre project just off 16th Ave. S.W. that will include some commercial along with multi-family and single family homes.
He says it will be just the start.
“Probably the fastest growing area in the city and it will add 20 to 30,000 to the population of Cedar Rapids in the next two to three decades,” Olson said.
Iowa DOT officials say the project came in at about the projected $200-million dollar projection.
Some work, such as final landscaping, will await better weather next spring.