1st Avenue Improvements

News: Construction re-started in April 2019.
For more information, see "Updates" below.

1st Avenue Improvements: 6th Street to 9th Street

1st Avenue between 6th Street and 9th Street underwent total reconstruction in 2018; the project will finish in spring 2019. This is the final section of 1st Avenue that needs to be improved south of Interstate 80.


Reconstruction on this stretch of 1st Avenue features:
  • Four through lanes and one continuous center turn lane
  • 10 foot wide sidewalks on both sides
  • Upgraded traffic signals at E. 7th Street
  • New traffic signals at 6th Street with a new four-leg intersection at 1st Avenue and 6th Street to accommodate a future connection of E. 2nd Avenue on the east leg
  • New public utilities (storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water main)
  • Lighting and streetscaping

At a Glance

Final improvements for spring 2019: 
  •  Railroad crossing signals and gates at 1st Avenue & 6th Street
  • Traffic signals at 1st Avenue & E. 7th Street
  • Roadway lighting along the east side of 1st Avenue
  • Sidewalk and brick paver treatments along the east side of 1st Avenue
  • Northbound 1st Avenue right turn lane onto E. 7th Street
  • Final landscaping, including street trees
Spring 2019 traffic impact:
  • Northbound and southbound 1st Avenue approaching 6th Street are reduced to one through lane and one dedicated left turn lane, expected until late April.  
  • Additional street and sidewalk paving north of 6th Street will require lane closures, but efforts will be made to minimize the duration. 
  • Project should be substantially complete by the end of May 2019.


Current & Upcoming Work*

Work April 11-19 included:
  • Paved the following:
    • Permanent left turn lanes and medians on 1st Avenue at 6th Street
    • Northeast corner of 1st Avenue & E. 7th Street
    • Additional sidewalk on east side north of E. 7th Street
  • Placed asphalt for railroad crossing approach and driveway tie-ins at Days Inn, Casa Azul, and Super 7.
  • Installed three additional light poles along the east side of 1st Avenue.
  • Continued landscaping and installing tree outlets along the west side of 1st Avenue.
  • Started placing topsoil along east side of 1st Avenue where possible. 
  • Completed limestone veneer on west side retaining walls.
  • Continued installing brick pavers along the east side of 1st Avenue.
  • Railroad crossing signal bases installed within 1st Avenue medians.
Progress expected April 19-25, weather permitting:
  • Continue sidewalk and pavers along east side of 1st Avenue.
  • The permanent left turn lanes on 1st Avenue at 6th Street should open late the week of April 22.
  • Continue landscaping along the west side of 1st Avenue and along the east side where possible.
Looking ahead:
  • The 1st Avenue project has a May 24 substantial completion date. 
Please note:
Starting Monday, April 15, semitrailers began delivering long, concrete beams needed to construct a five-level parking ramp within the Latitude residential development across from McDonald’s. We expect 16 to 18 semitrailers each weekday for four weeks, arriving about 30 minutes apart to allow each beam to be unloaded and placed by a crane at the Latitude site.  The semitrailers will have oversize load signs and flashing yellow lights.  Give them plenty of room.  In a few weeks, more steel deliveries to the Xtream Arena site are also expected.  

*Updated April 19, 2019
Finishing 1st logo

Contact Us

  1. Dan Holderness

    City Engineer

    Scott Larson

    Assistant City Engineer

    1512 7th St.
    P.O. Box 5127
    Coralville, IA  52241

    Ph: 319.248.1720
    Fx: 319.248.1894

    Staff Directory
1st Ave Construction Map 2018

About the Project

  1. Cost
  2. Timeline
  3. Traffic Impact
  4. Resources
  5. Videos


  • Bid in January 2018 IDOT letting
  • Low bid: $7,186,554.84 (Langman Construction of Rock Island, Illinois) 
  • Funding: $5.1 million of Surface Transportation Program funds, and local funds

Merging Traffic

How to Merge Efficiently on 1st Avenue

When traffic is slow and heavy, merging too early can create traffic backups. During peak traffic times on 1st Avenue, using a "zipper merge" can keep traffic moving and reduce traffic backups.

A "zipper merge" is when drivers use both lanes of traffic until they reach the defined merge area, and then alternate in "zipper" style into the open lane. This maximizes road space, reduces congestion, and allows both lanes to move at similar speeds.

How to "Zipper Merge"
  1. Watch for signs giving drivers notice that there is a merge ahead
  2. Stay in your lane up to the point of merge
  3. Take turns with drivers to safely ease into the remaining lane
  4. Always merge when it is safe

Merging FAQs

When is it best to use the zipper merge?

When traffic is congested and traveling at slower speeds, it is best to remain in your lane until the point where traffic can take turns merging, which is indicated by a "BEGIN MERGE" sign.

When is it best to merge early?
When traffic conditions are light and vehicles are traveling at highway speeds, it is best to merge as soon as safely possible.

Zipper Merge Resources

Take Turns sign

Pre-Project Planning

Duct Banks

In anticipation of the project, underground duct banks were proactively constructed in 2017. These duct banks provided places for the private utilities companies to relocate their overhead and underground facilities to be out of the way before the 2018 improvement projects. The duct banks should minimize delays caused by private utility relocations, which can be common during street projects.

How We Keep Traffic Moving

To reduce traffic delays during construction:
  • Staff monitors traffic times and adjusts the timing of traffic signals as needed to help the traffic flow on 1st Avenue
  • Installed fiber optic communications at the 1st Avenue/E. 9th Street traffic signal
  • Installed pan/tilt/zoom cameras on 1st Avenue at both 5th Street and E. 9th Street, along with existing cameras at 1st Avenue/Highway 6, to remotely monitor traffic for the project corridor and beyond
  • Repositioned the traffic detection cameras at 1st Avenue/E. 9th Street to minimize false detections
  • Installed traffic detection cameras at the 1st Avenue/Interstate 80 traffic signals to replace the in-pavement traffic detection wire loops

Stay Informed

  1. 12th Avenue Lane Closure on Bridge over I-80

    Temporary lane reduction scheduled for April 24 from approximately 9:00 am until 3:00 pm Read on...
  2. Construction to Resume on Coral Ridge Avenue

    Construction on Coral Ridge Ave. between Oakdale Blvd. and Forevergreen Rd. will start again on April 2 Read on...
  1. Construction to Resume on 1st Avenue

    Work on the final remaining improvements for 1st Avenue from 6th Street to 9th Street will start again on April 1 Read on...
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