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Transportation Improvements Increase Traffic Flow

Crews pour new concrete for the sidewalk system along Cedar Heights Drive.

For several years, the Cedar Falls community has been expanding its transportation network along the southern edge of town, including the Greenhill Road corridor. This work was completed to accommodate new commercial and residential development in the area and to provide commuters with another route through town. Piggybacking on the success of the traffic study that resulted in the Greenhill Road improvements, our team was again tasked with improving the Cedar Heights Drive corridor, extending south from Greenhill Road to the Viking Road intersection.

Before reconstruction, the existing Cedar Heights Drive corridor consisted of a two-lane rural section that was a main thoroughfare for commuters and a primary access route to the John Deere facility on the south side of town. This comprehensive project included reconstructing the entire roadway to a three-lane urban section (with a two-way, left-turn lane), adding an extensive storm sewer system, building a trail, and extending the sanitary sewer and water main.

Roundabouts Smooth Out Traffic Flow, Increase Safety

Beginning at the Greenhill Road intersection, this project converted the existing signalized intersection to a multi-lane roundabout configuration. The existing T-intersection was converted to a single-lane roundabout at the Huntington Road intersection. Additionally, a truck apron and landscape features were added to the Viking Road roundabout at the south end of the project zone. The use of roundabouts will drastically improve the traffic flow along the corridor and increase safety.

These improvements significantly impacted the Cedar Heights Drive and Greenhill Road areas. The Cedar Heights Drive reconstruction south from the intersection with Viking Road and north past the intersection with Greenhill Road, along with the construction of the roundabouts, was divided into two segments, beginning with the Greenhill Road roundabout. This staging effort allowed traffic access at the Huntington Road intersection while work was performed to the north.

In addition to the roadway reconstruction and widening, this project also saw the construction of a recreational trail running adjacent to the roadway, a new water main, sanitary sewer main, and storm sewer main were included from the East Viking Road roundabout north and east through the intersection of East Greenhill Road.

Stormwater Analysis Drives New Sewer System

Traffic was temporarily rerouted to accommodate the reconstruction efforts.

An extensive stormwater analysis revealed the need for a new storm sewer system to meet SUDAS standards. One portion of the new roadway included a boulevard section, which limited the pavement area available for stormwater conveyance while maintaining an open lane for travel during runoff events. This area required additional intakes to meet the design requirements. Various intake types and pipe materials were reviewed to optimize capture rates and reduce project costs. This required appropriate storm sewer intakes and pipe sizes to minimize the runoff spread on the arterial roadway. The stormwater improvements included dozens of new intakes and thousands of feet of storm sewer.

Our team was also instrumental in this project, receiving numerous funding sources, including Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal-Aid swap funds, Traffic Safety Improvement Program (TSIP) funds, and multiple local funding sources to implement these improvements.

The Cedar Heights Drive reconstruction project has significantly improved the transportation network in Cedar Falls. With the expansion of the roadway to a three-lane urban section, the addition of storm sewers, recreational trails, and extensions of water and sewer mains, this project has enhanced the area’s infrastructure for both commuters and residents. Roundabouts have greatly improved traffic flow and increased safety along the corridor. This project was successful due to the collaborative efforts of the Cedar Falls community, our team, and the multiple funding sources that supported the initiative.