New Park Road Bridge opens Saturday, but drivers may want to avoid it

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The new Park Road Bridge under construction. — photo courtesy of the City of Iowa City

After two years of waiting, Iowa City motorists will finally be able to drive across the new Park Road Bridge on Saturday. But the city doesn’t think you should do it.

“Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes, and allow extra travel time as delays will occur due to the traffic signal configuration at Park Road Bridge,” the Iowa City Department of Public Works advised in a press release on Thursday. “Separate turn lanes on Dubuque Street to access the bridge are not currently available.”

The new bridge will open at 6 a.m. on Saturday, 27 months after the construction on the bridge’s piers began. It is part of the Iowa City Gateway Project. The $59 million project, which broke ground in 2016, is designed to help address flooding problems on Dubuque Street, Park Road and the Park Road crossing of the Iowa River in northwest Iowa City. It’s the largest flood mitigation project the city has undertaken.

Football season also starts on Saturday, when the Hawkeyes take on the Northern Illinois Huskies at Kinnick Stadium. According to Public Works,

Similar to the previous two football seasons, Dubuque Street will temporarily convert to a one-way road, with two lanes of outbound traffic, for at least the first four home Hawkeye Football games to help accommodate heavy traffic leaving Iowa City. There will be no south-bound traffic between Foster Road and Park Road during this time.

Construction on the remaining parts of the Gateway Project is scheduled to conclude in October, weather permitting.

Artist’s rendering of new Park Road Bridge and completed Iowa City Gateway Project. — courtesy of Iowa City Public Works Department

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