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Changes Coming To I-80/I-380 Interchange

JOHNSON COUNTY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Many experiences are the same at the I-80/I-380 interchange.

"I've seen a lot of vehicles slide off the road there and have problems navigating it," commuter Joseph Gorman said.

"I know a classmate that was in an accident over there before," said another driver. "It's a lot of accidents happen on that."

Now the Iowa Department Of Transportation is going in a different direction.

"It really is a little more than a facelift, its actually a reconstruction of the entire interchange," said Cathy Cutler with I-DOT

Gone is the cloverleaf design that drivers say makes the area somewhat treacherous.

"We'll take out those loops and just put in ramps, so that way traffic doesn't have to slow down as much to make that loop movement," Cutler said.

Those loops have been the scene of hundreds of accidents over the years, many of them involving semis.

"Trucks will come down, and its a little bit too sharp, and they've had several of them turn over there," said Coralville mayor Jim Fausett.

He says the change is welcome.

"Absolutely...I hink it will be a big improvement, safety is a big thing," Fausett said.

However, as the project comes together, Fausett says he's trying to avoid a Coralville traffic problem.

The new interchange will need a bypass in case a major accident shuts it down.

So right now the city is in talks with IDOT, as they discuss how to approach the issue.

"Trying to work out some way that we'll be able to make sure that we have traffic bypass, hopefully not through the main part of town," Fausett said.

Those details aside, drivers are embracing the long awaited changes, for everyone's safety.

"You don't want to have someone lose their life, trying to get to where they need to go," commuter Tasha Channel said.

The project will cost almost 300 million dollars. The design phase will take another two years. Construction won't start until 2017.
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