1st Avenue Improvements
1st Avenue Improvements: 6th Street to 9th Street
1st Avenue between 6th Street and 9th Street began total reconstruction in 2018 and finished in 2019. This was the final section of 1st Avenue to be improved south of Interstate 80.
Reconstruction on this stretch of 1st Avenue featured:
- Four through lanes and one continuous center turn lane
- 10 foot wide sidewalks and brick paver treatments on both sides
- Upgraded traffic signals at E. 7th Street
- Northbound 1st Avenue right turn lane onto E. 7th Street
- New traffic signals at 6th Street with a new four-leg intersection at 1st Avenue and 6th Street to accommodate a future connection of E. 2nd Avenue on the east leg
- Railroad crossing signals and gates at 1st Avenue & 6th Street
- New public utilities (storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water main)
- Lighting and streetscaping, including trees
About the Project
- Bid in January 2018 IDOT letting
- Low bid: $7,186,554.84 (Langman Construction of Rock Island, Illinois)
- Funding: $5.1 million of Surface Transportation Program funds, and local funds
- Start: March 2018
- Estimated completion: December 2018, weather permitting (driving lanes, sidewalks, and traffic signals)
- Landscaping and final work: Spring 2019, weather permitting
- "Construction That Is Worth the Wait" (March 28, 2019)
- "1st Avenue Update: August 29" (August 26, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update with the Police Dept: Special Edition" (August 8, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: July 16" (July 16, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: July 2" (July 2, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: June 12" (June 12, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: Traffic Shifts June 4" (June 4, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: Week of May 14" (May 14, 2018)
- "Next Phase of 1st Avenue Construction Begins April 24" (April 24, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: Week of April 16" (April 16, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: Week of April 9" (April 9, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: Week of April 2" (April 2, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Update: Week of March 26" (March 26, 2018)
- "1st Avenue Road Reconstruction: The Basics" (March 20, 2018)
Duct Banks In anticipation of the project, underground duct banks were constructed in 2017. These duct banks provided places for the private utilities companies to relocate their overhead and underground facilities to be out of the way before the 2018 improvement projects. The duct banks minimized delays caused by private utility relocations, which can be common during street projects.
How We Keep Traffic Moving
To reduce traffic delays during construction:
- Staff monitored traffic times and adjusted the timing of traffic signals as needed to help the traffic flow on 1st Avenue
- Installed fiber optic communications at the 1st Avenue/E. 9th Street traffic signal
- Installed pan/tilt/zoom cameras on 1st Avenue at both 5th Street and E. 9th Street, along with existing cameras at 1st Avenue/Highway 6, to remotely monitor traffic for the project corridor and beyond
- Repositioned the traffic detection cameras at 1st Avenue/E. 9th Street to minimize false detections
- Installed traffic detection cameras at the 1st Avenue/Interstate 80 traffic signals to replace the in-pavement traffic detection wire loops
How to Merge Efficiently on 1st Avenue during Construction
When traffic is slow and heavy, merging too early can create traffic backups. During peak traffic times on 1st Avenue, using a "zipper merge" can keep traffic moving and reduce traffic backups.
A "zipper merge" is when drivers use both lanes of traffic until they reach the defined merge area, and then alternate in "zipper" style into the open lane. This maximizes road space, reduces congestion, and allows both lanes to move at similar speeds.
How to "Zipper Merge"
- Watch for signs giving drivers notice that there is a merge ahead
- Stay in your lane up to the point of merge
- Take turns with drivers to safely ease into the remaining lane
- Always merge when it is safe
When is it best to use the zipper merge?
When traffic is congested and traveling at slower speeds, it is best to remain in your lane until the point where traffic can take turns merging, which is indicated by a "BEGIN MERGE" sign.
When is it best to merge early?
When traffic conditions are light and vehicles are traveling at highway speeds, it is best to merge as soon as safely possible.
Zipper Merge Resources
- Sign up for e-news alerts ("Construction and Traffic Updates" category)
- Like City of Coralville, Iowa on Facebook
- Follow the City of Coralville, Iowa on Twitter
- Join Nextdoor (a private social network for Coralville neighborhoods)
- Pay attention to construction message boards along 1st Avenue during construction
- Check local news for media releases
- Attend weekly meetings April-June 2019 with the City and the contractors, and open to the public:
- Thursdays, 9:00-10:00 am
- Coralville City Hall (1512 7th St.)
- call 319.248.1720 for more information
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