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Part of I-35 Ames interchange to close for summer

Construction planned this summer at the Interstate 35-U.S. Highway 30 interchange east of Ames temporarily will impact how employees, students and visitors from the north arrive on campus.

Beginning Monday, May 8, and continuing through mid-August, southbound vehicles on I-35 won’t be able to exit to westbound Highway 30. To arrive on campus, drivers should:

-Exit at 13th Street (Exit 113) and drive west into Ames
-Turn left (south) on Grand Avenue/U.S. Highway 69
-Turn right (west) on Lincoln Way and continue to campus

The detour should be revoked before fall semester begins, said Iowa Department of Transportation engineer Jesse Tibodeau, who oversees the project. Campus hosts are asked to share this information with their guests as they make arrival plans.

New look for the interchange

The two-year interchange project will replace the northeast loop of the existing cloverleaf — which carries northbound vehicles on I-35 to westbound Highway 30 — with an elevated “flyover” ramp. When the new ramp is completed, Tibodeau said northbound vehicles will travel on a ramp that veers west over the top of I-35 and returns to ground level near the southbound I-35 to westbound Highway 30 exit ramp. Work this summer will install the pavement at both ends of the flyover ramp (southeast and northwest corners of the interchange) and begin to construct the bridge.

A few other project notes for this summer:

-The exit ramp to Dayton Avenue from westbound Highway 30 also will be closed from May 8 to mid-August
-I-35 and Highway 30 occasionally will close overnight (1-5 a.m.) for bridge construction
-Drivers on I-35 arriving from south of Ames will continue to use the existing exit to get to westbound Highway 30

Goal: Safety

Tibodeau said the new ramp project is intended to create a safer, more efficient interchange. Specifically, it will help reduce conflicts in a short merging zone between vehicles leaving and entering the northbound lanes of I-35.

The northbound I-35 exit ramp to eastbound Highway 30 (Nevada) will be reconfigured later in this project, which is expected to wrap up in late 2018.

Submitted by ISU, Inside Iowa State, AnneKrapfl.

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