Cranes. Cranes everywhere. That's the first thing that comes to my mind each time I approach the massive construction zone that will eventually be the all-new, much-needed, and safer I-80/I-380 interchange. Those cranes are all signs of progress and a landscape that changes each time I go through that area. The first part of the new interchange is now open.

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced this morning that the ramp from Interstate 80 eastbound to southbound Highway 218 is now open. The I-80 exit/218 southbound on-ramp is an elevated bridge. Even though it has opened, the IDOT reminds drivers that you should pay attention to signage and remember that construction crews are still present.

In addition to replacing all of the loops of the I-80/I-380 interchange, several miles of I-380 itself will be expanded before the project is completed. When finished, I-380 will be three lanes in each direction from I-80 to about one mile north of the new Forevergreen Road interchange. That new expansion to three lanes in each direction will cover about three miles of I-380. The interstate will also have 12-foot shoulders in that area.

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The entire project is expected to be completed in 2024. The third and final phase of work begins next year. You can keep up with the project schedule HERE.

Iowa DOT

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