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Highway 100 Extension
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28)-A major moment today as a ground breaking ceremony that took place for the HWY 100 extension.
It's a road project that's been in the planning stages for more than 4 decades.
Road officials said the new roads will expand the city from 73 to 100 square miles in each area.
It'll also provide an alternative route for businesses.
Construction workers have already started moving the dirt near Edgewood Road NE to make way for the new pavement that road officals said that'll start in 2016.
Drivers should expect traffic on Edgewood Road for the next 18 months. But that congestion will stop soon enough according to officials.
"I hope people are patient. There'll be traffic backups at sometime," Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Tormdino said.
It's a road project that officials have been talking about since 1969.
And one they say will reduce traffic congestion.
"It's a very important project for not only the city but really the community and the region," Tormdino said.
The HWY 100 extension project will connect Edgewood Road to HWY 30, making it easier for drivers to get to the west side of town.
This highway will include several exits to help grow the city not only in acres but also people.
"This expressway is a good part for the city and is a gamchanger for moving people and goods but also an economic development," Iowa DOT Commissioner Amy Reasner said.
Construction workers have already started building the Cedar River bridge that'll connect the two roadways.
"People can't see the work but they only see the traffic on Edgewood," Tormdino said.
Phase 1 will be the 4 mile stretch from Covington Road to Edgewood. Road officials hope to have that phase open by 2018.
Phase 2 will be the final 4 miles that'll make the western loop to HWY 30.
The whole project is expected to be completed by 2020 Tormdino said.
A project that many folks have been wanting for awhile.
"This moment is the process and hardwork from many individuals over time," Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said.