Plans have been unveiled which should relieve some of the traffic congestion on one of Cedar Rapids' busiest roadways. I think it will also make the area much more inviting.

The City of Cedar Rapids has unveiled plans to raise a three-quarter mile stretch of Collins Road, in the Lindale Mall area. The road will be raised by as much as 13 feet. Lindale Drive, which currently extends from Marion and crosses Blairs Ferry Road before eventually ending at Twixt Town Road just feet from Collins Road, will be lowered up to six feet and extended to go under Collins.

The way I see it, there are several benefits. Walking or bicycling across Collins Road from Collins Road Square to Lindale Mall, for instance, hasn't really been an option... certainly not a safe one. Right now, when I see a pedestrian, I usually wonder what's the matter. Honestly, with it being one of the busiest areas in the city, shouldn't pedestrians be common? The new plans allow plenty of room for both pedestrians and bicyclists. Extending and lowering Lindale Drive will be costly but another point of access to and from the busier-than-ever area north of Collins seems like a great idea to me. Though the area is quite spread out, I can already visualize lots of people on foot or two wheels, especially during the spring and fall.

Another piece of the construction puzzle will be an underpass for pedestrians from the main Lindale Mall entrance across to the new Collins Crossing.

I have to wonder if all the work in the former Westdale Mall area off Edgewood Road and Williams Blvd helped aid these moves involving Collins Road? When completed, it sounds like the Westdale area will be both inviting and walkable. It sounds to me like the Collins Road area is heading in the same direction.

I look forward to the finished product, but there will be plenty of growing pains and likely traffic woes to get there. Work on the Collins Road project is expected to start in the spring, with completion expected sometime late in 2017.

[via The Gazette]