AMES - The Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) is making preparations to close the north- and southbound lanes of Interstate 380 (also U.S. 218/Iowa 27) in eastern Iowa between exit 4 (North Liberty) and exit 10.
The closure was tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. today. However, water is already creeping near the roadway and the road may need to be closed sooner. If you need to use this road to evacuate the area, begin making plans to do so immediately.
This closure is located approximately four miles north of the Interstate 80/Interstate 380 interchange and five miles south of the Interstate 380/U.S. 30 interchange. The roadway is expected to remain closed for a week.
Flood waters are expected to overtop the north- and southbound lanes of Interstate 380 just south of the Interstate 380/Iowa River bridge at Coralville Reservoir.
The planned detours are as follows.
• If traveling northbound on U.S. 218/Iowa 27 and you want to reach Cedar Rapids and points north: Take Interstate 80 at Iowa City west to Interstate 35/Des Moines, north on Interstate 35 to U.S. 20, then east on U.S. 20 to Interstate 380 south or U.S. 218/Iowa 27 north.
• If traveling southbound on U.S. 218/Iowa 27 and you want to reach points south of Cedar Rapids: Take U.S. 20 west to Interstate 35, south on Interstate 35 to Des Moines, east on Interstate 80 to the U.S. 218 interchange at Iowa City.
• If traveling on Interstate 80 eastbound and you need to reach Cedar Rapids: Take the Interstate 35 north exit at Des Moines, go north on Interstate 35 to U.S. 20, go east on U.S. 20 to Interstate 380, and then south to Cedar Rapids.
• If traveling southbound from Minnesota and you intended to use the Avenue of the Saints (U.S. 218/Iowa 27) corridor through Iowa: Take Interstate 35 south to Des Moines, then east on Interstate 80 to Iowa City, then south on the Avenue.
• If traveling northbound on the Avenue of the Saints (U.S. 218/Iowa 27) through Iowa and your destination is Minnesota: Get off the Avenue at Iowa City, take Interstate 80 west to Interstate 35/Des Moines, continue north on Interstate 35.
As a reminder, Interstate 80 is closed at milepost 266 and westbound traffic is being detoured at Davenport north on U.S. 61 to U.S. 20/Dubuque, west on U.S. 20 to Interstate 35, then south on Interstate 35 to Des Moines.
The Iowa DOT is anticipating heavy traffic, congestion and delays on the detour route. Therefore, the department strongly suggests the following as a way to reduce problems in the area during this critical time.
• Regional and coast-to-coast commercial motor vehicle operators that do not need to make a stop in Iowa should consider a route that avoids the state.
• Iowa residents should avoid travel on the detour roads, if at all possible.
• Commercial vehicle operators that cannot avoid the area should NOT use the county roadways as alternative routes.
For the latest updates on road conditions, visit www.511ia.org (use the low bandwidth option). Travelers can also call 866-452-8510 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily, including this weekend.
Due to the ever-changing water levels and today's rain events, it is essential that motorists know whether the roadways they intend to use are available for travel. By using 511, the safety and convenience of travelers will be greatly improved, and congestion and frustration reduced.
The Iowa DOT recognizes the significant inconvenience this closure presents and will reopen the roadway just as soon as the waters recede and any necessary repairs are made.