Major road in North Liberty to see some major work in 2018

Ranshaw Way/Highway 965 will see some major changes in 2018.

The community of North Liberty continues to grow, with nearly 20,000 people calling the city home.

As the population leads, the roads must follow.

As Ranshaw Way/Highway 965 sees commuter traffic bunched up during peak hours, the city is entering phase 3 of a project designed to keep pace with the growth.

The busy roadway is in for some major upgrades in 2018.

Plans include widening the thoroughfare to five lanes over a four-block stretch on 965 from Penn Street to Zeller Street.

Currently, some stretches of road only have two lanes.

Improving pedestrian access is another focal point of phase 3, with the construction calling for added sidewalks on both sides of 965 as well as a trail.

The first phase of 965 saw signals added in 2009, with a second phase full build-out expanding intersections roughly three years ago.

Commuters can expect to see lots of bright orange signs during the 2018 construction season, something city officials already have their eyes on.

"It'll be a little bit inconvenient in the short-term as all road construction is," said Nick Bergus, the city's communications director, "but we all know that this is an important piece of infrastructure for this community, and we appreciate [drivers'] patience while we work through that."

Construction is expected to begin sometime in March, with a completion date tentatively set for November 2018.

The project will cost roughly $5.5 million, with $2 million coming from federal transportation grant funding.

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