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The Future of Collins Road


  The long awaited  extension of HWY 100 from Edgewood Road, south to HWY 30, should take a lot of cars off from Collins Road on the northeast side of Cedar Rapids. The only problem is the ribbon cutting on that stretch of road is probably five years away at best and closer to eight years at the worst.  Drivers can tell you horror stories right now of sitting in traffic for a half hour just trying to squeeze through the Rockwell and restaurant bottleneck from Council Street to Marion.  Mayor Ron Corbett notes its good news that the area will continue to expand, but at some point it becomes a safety issue. 


Thats why the city is now planning two ways to get bumper to bumper traffic off from Collins Road much sooner.  The Department of Public Works says houses are already being purchased to construct a backage road from C Avenue to the shopping center near Kohls, Barnes and Noble and Hy Vee.  That would allow drivers to visit the area without ever needing to drive on Collins Road.  Its also looking at restructuring Lindale Drive to bring traffic out of Marion and allow it to dive under the street and into Lindale Mall without cars ever having to stop for a red light. 


City council member Monica Vernon says while heavy traffic draws the best restaurants and shops to an area, there is also a limit to what motorists can endure.  She says in the next few years the changes along Collins Road should make a huge difference in the relief of highway headaches.  I love the idea of the underpass under  Collins Road ... because that's the area those people are probably going to anyway .. and if they're not they can certainly get on Collins but they don't have to.  


Both of the projects are moving forward in the design stages, but the Cedar Rapids Department of Public Works didnt have any specific price tags to share today.  It tells us because the improvements would be connected to HWY 100 and Collins Road, most of it should be covered by federal dollars.     



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