It's been nearly two years since the first four-mile stretch of the Highway 100 bypass, west of Edgewood Road N.E., opened to traffic. The other four miles of the new road is almost ready to open!

The first section of Highway 100 from Edgewood Road in Cedar Rapids to Covington opened in the middle of December in 2016. At that time, Cathy Cutler, Transportation Planner for the Iowa Department of Transportation's 6th District, told me to expect the other half of the bypass to open late in 2018. We're there, and the road is nearly ready.

The remaining four miles of the Highway 100 bypass will extend the bypass from Covington south to Highway 30. When it opens, possibly shortly after Thanksgiving, it will mark the end of a plan that was first hatched 50 years ago. Actual work on the bypass started in 2013.

The bypass should relieve some of the traffic congestion on I-380 and will also allow for a new way across the Cedar River. It certainly would've been a huge help in 2008, when Interstate 380 was closed for a time due to record flooding.

The total price tag for the eight-mile stretch on the west side of Cedar Rapids is $200 million. It's expected to result in more economic development, with plans for a new 54-acre mixed-use development already revealed.

Julie James