First Avenue Grade Separation Project News


Project Purpose An artist's rendering of the First Avenue Grade Separation Project

Approximately 13,000 vehicles use the First Avenue route on a daily basis, with future volumes projected to increase moderately. Each day, between two and four trains block First Avenue, causing conflicts, major traffic delays, and safety concerns for vehicles and pedestrians. Traffic studies have shown that on average, whenever the crossing is blocked, 288 vehicles idle in traffic for 10 to 20 minutes, while another 392 vehicles seek other routes, including the nearest grade-separated crossing on Summit Street, a four-mile detour. 

Work Involved

Construction began in April 2015 and is expected to go through 2016. It involves lowering First Avenue while raising the railroad at the current at-grade crossing of the Iowa Interstate Railroad. The City of Iowa City has designated funds, along with support from federal funding, to design and construct the separation between the railroad and vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Included in this project will be a new railroad bridge, street paving, water main improvements and other related work. 

Stay Connected 

For project updates be sure to follow the City of Iowa City on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to receive e-mail updates via the City's e-subscription service. Video updates are also available from the City's cable channel, City Channel 4. Simply search First Avenue in the search bar.