Four Lane to Three Lane Conversions: Mormon Trek Boulevard and 1st Avenue News

The City is looking to make safety improvements to Mormon Trek Boulevard and First Avenue by reducing traffic lanes. Select a topic below to be directed to the specific section on this page. 

Project Proposal 

The proposed improvements focus specifically on safety, including traffic lane reconfiguration that would change the road from four lanes (two operating in each direction) to three lanes (one lane in each direction and a center two-way, left turn lane). The City is looking to make these conversions on Mormon Trek Boulevard, from Melrose Avenue to Highway 1, and along First Avenue, between Bradford Drive and Highway 6, as part of the ongoing First Avenue Grade Separation Project.  
Map of First Avenue

The lane reconfiguration will allow for additional improvements like replacing traffic signals and adding paving for bike lanes. Along Mormon Trek, the new lanes would also add a northbound to eastbound right turn lane at the Benton Street intersection and new sidewalk ramps. 

The Iowa Department of Transportation will help with the development of the project through Traffic Safety Improvement Program funding.

Conversion Safety 

Research suggests significant safety benefits can be achieved through four-lane to three-lane conversion projects, including reduced crashes. The City selected First Ave. and Mormon Trek Blvd. for conversion as the volume of traffic does not necessitate the current number of lanes. Both roads also have driveways and side street intersections, making them a good candidate for conversion. Pictured below are common crashes that occur on four-lane, two-way traffic roads. 

Project Meetings

The City hosted public meetings for both the Mormon Trek and First Avenue proposals in June 2016. After those meetings, time was spent developing the design, and construction will begin on First Avenue in May 2017.  

Materials from the presentations are available below: 

Mormon Trek Meeting 

First Avenue Meeting 

Project Contacts

Tony Culver, Snyder & Associates Project Engineer:
Scott Sovers, City of Iowa City Engineer: