Rochester Avenue Reconstruction Project News

A map of the Rochester Avenue Reconstruction Project.

Rochester Avenue serves as an important arterial within the City of Iowa City. The street pavement along Rochester Avenue from N 1st Avenue to the bridge over Ralston Creek provides low ride quality, requires frequent maintenance, and has reached the end of its useful life.  The City of Iowa City is planning to reconstruct Rochester Avenue from Ralston Creek to N 1st Avenue, including the Rochester Avenue and N 1st Avenue intersection to create a more user-friendly roadway corridor.  The project will also implement aspects from the City’s complete streets policy. Throughout the project lifecycle, City staff and design consultant Snyder & Associates will maintain communication with the community via the project website and social media updates.

The Rochester Avenue Reconstruction Project includes the following

  • Pavement reconstruction from Ralston Creek to N 1st Avenue. The intersection of N 1st Avenue and Rochester Avenue is included with the pavement reconstruction.
  • Improvements to the sidewalk
  • ADA curb ramps
  • Buffered bike lanes
  • Storm sewer
  • Sanitary sewer manholes

Tentative Schedule

  • Construction begins: August 2022
  • Construction Ends: 2024 construction season

March 2023 update

Weather permitting, construction crews will be on-site performing various activities beginning with underground pipe work between Rochester Court and Windsor Drive. Traffic control will remain the same as last fall with the detour route using Ashwood Drive, Glendale Road/East Jefferson Street, and Parsons Avenue. The Montrose Avenue and Rochester Avenue intersection will be closed once again upon resuming construction.

The contractor is tentatively scheduled to complete reconstruction up to or near the intersection of Rochester Avenue and N First Avenue in 2023; however, that schedule is subject to change. The project is scheduled to be completed within the 2024 construction season. Updates will be provided throughout the duration of the project.

As the project progresses there will be changes to the traffic control and detour routes. Please continue to check the project website, City of Iowa City social media, and City press releases for updates.

The stages of the Rochester project are shown.

Public Information Meeting

A virtual public meeting was held on January 5, 2022, to provide project updates and answer questions. Watch the recording of that meeting for details.

Traffic detour

The Rochester Avenue detour is shown.

The suggested detour has been announced for the Rochester Avenue Reconstruction Project. The project is set to close Rochester from Ralston Creek to Windsor Drive beginning the week of Aug. 15, 2022.

The detour bypasses Rochester by using Parsons Avenue, Glendale Road, and Ashwood Drive. 

Motorists are to take note of this construction work and allow extra travel time or seek an alternate route during this time period. 

Bus route detours

The bus detours for the Rochester Avenue Reconstruction Project.

When the project starts, Rochester Avenue will be closed between Montrose Avenue and Windsor Drive. The Rochester Avenue bus route will use Jefferson Street to Glendale Road to Ashwood Drive for inbound and outbound travel to get clear of the work zone. There will be temporary bus stops at three intersections along Jefferson, Glendale, and Ashwood for customers to use as alternate stops. 


What are the benefits of the project?

A new concrete roadway will provide a safe travel surface for vehicles. Accessibility for pedestrians will be improved with segments of new sidewalks and ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps. There will be upgrades to the water main, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer structures that will provide more reliable water and sewer services with lower maintenance.

How will I be able to access my home, business, or Regina High School during construction?

There will be an impact, however, the designers will work to reduce the impacts to properties by phasing work. Short durations of driveway and sidewalk closures will be necessary for some sidewalk, utility installations, and reconstruction of the driveway approaches. Temporary access to residences may include side street parking, parking on temporary surfaces (example: gravel), or other planned parking areas.

How long will my home or business be impacted?

The project is finishing the design phase.  Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2022 and continue through to approximately December of 2023. Project phasing will be finalized in the coming months.  The design will attempt to reduce property impacts as much as possible, however, some impacts are inevitable.  Installation of public utilities (i.e. sanitary sewer structures and water main) may cause brief property access limitations and service interruptions.  Service interruptions are usually brief, generally lasting less than half of a day.  During construction when there are paving operations underway, access impacts to property could last up to two weeks.  The timeline of these impacts also varies dependent on weather and if the Contractor can perform work with the given weather conditions. 

What will be the impacts be on me or my property?

Installation of new water main, sanitary sewer structures, and sidewalks in the city right-of-way line will cause short periods of outages and may require some excavation on your property, which will be restored as part of the project.  Tree removal is also included in the project. Tree removals were reduced as much as possible, but some removals are necessary to install the public improvements. Temporary construction easements will be necessary to complete work outside of the right of way. During construction, there will also be regular construction noise and dust during the work which will be limited to the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; the exception is for saw cutting of concrete, the timing of which is critical and may be required at off-hours.

Who will the contractor be?

Boomerang Corp. of Anamosa, Iowa.

What might cause delays?

Excavating for a new roadway and utility installations may turn up a few surprises, such as abandoned and unknown utility lines. Also, unknown underground repairs to old infrastructure may need to be addressed if repairs are identified during construction work. Discoveries such as these take time to address. As with any construction project, the weather is a big factor that can cause delays at all phases of construction.

Questions? Contact the City Engineer overseeing this project: Justin Harland, Senior Engineer, at 319-356-5154.