1st Avenue Improvements

News: All five lanes of 1st Avenue north of Pipeline Road are now open. 
For more information, see "Updates" below.

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

1st Avenue between 6th Street and 9th Street is undergoing total reconstruction in 2018. This is the final section of 1st Avenue that needs to be improved south of Interstate 80.


After work is complete, this stretch of 1st Avenue will feature:
  • 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
Finishing 1st logo


  • 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


  • Start: March 2018
  • Estimated completion: December 2018, weather permitting (driving lanes, sidewalks, and traffic signals)
  • Landscaping and final work: Spring 2019, weather permitting

Traffic Impact

  • There are traffic delays
  • Single lane traffic is in both directions along 1st Avenue south of Pipeline Road
  • Pedestrian access is maintained using temporary surfacing and channelizing barriers
  • Access to all businesses is maintained
  • The temporary traffic signals at the 1st Avenue/E. 7th Street intersection are removed while E. 7th Street is closed and reconstructed
  • Temporary traffic signals at the new 1st Avenue/6th Street/E. 2nd Avenue intersection provide construction access to the new E. 2nd Avenue for the Iowa Arena/UIHC Phase 2 Clinic Projects.

Public Transit Impact

  • Coralville Transit riders may experience delays on all routes, especially during peak traffic times. Any changes to routes and schedules will be posted on www.coralville.org/transit.

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

Current & Upcoming Work*

Lanes re-open:
  • The full 5-lane section of 1st Avenue north of Pipeline Road (near McDonald’s and Super 8) opened on December 13.  The contractor is painting arrows in the center turn lane and will then remove the remaining cones and drums north of Pipeline Road on December 13 in the afternoon.  
  • South of Pipeline Road, 1st Avenue will remain one lane in each direction with dedicated left turn lanes at the 1st Avenue & 6th Street intersection until permanent signals are installed (see "Looking ahead" below).
  • The speed limit is still 25 MPH on this section of 1st Avenue. 
  • The full length of the west side sidewalk is open and the adjacent brick paver work is substantially complete. 
Looking ahead:
  • Traffic signal pole delivery is now scheduled for Tuesday, December 18, and the electrical contractor is determined to get the traffic signals installed and operating at 1st Avenue & 6th Street by the end of the week of December 17. 
  • All lanes south of Pipeline Road will be open once the permanent signals are installed.
  • The warmer temperatures will allow permanent concrete to be poured on December 14 at the McDonald’s parking lot and the north half of Super 8’s driveway.  The south half of Super 8’s driveway and the remainder of Super 7’s driveway will be poured December 17/18.  
  • The project will be in winter shutdown mode in mid-to-late December, except for any traffic signal and lighting work that is not as dependent on the weather.  The project team will then review the work to be completed next spring and develop a schedule for completion.   

*Updated December 13, 2018


Maps & Documents


Weekly job meetings are Thursdays at 9:00 am at City Hall, until further notice. The public is welcome to attend and participate.

Lane Closures/Traffic Changes

  • 1st Avenue traffic is reduced to one lane in both directions the entire length of the project, from 6th to 9th Streets (see Resources: "Phase 2 - Stages 1 and 2").
  • The inner left turn lane on eastbound 5th Street approaching 1st Avenue is closed to simplify the merging of 5th Street traffic turning left onto northbound 1st Avenue. 
  • E. 7th Street between 1st Avenue and E. 2nd Avenue is closed for total reconstruction. Use E. 9th Street to access the Iowa River Landing. A construction access road connected to 1st Avenue near the railroad crossing minimizes traffic impacts from the large redevelopment projects in the Iowa River Landing.
1st Ave lanes shifted east 04.26.18
  • Southbound 1st Avenue drivers wanting to continue south through the 1st Avenue project work zone (blue path) must be in the right lane immediately after passing the I-80 eastbound off-ramp.
  • Southbound 1st Avenue drivers wanting to turn left onto E. 9th Street (black dash path) must be in the left lane immediately after passing the I-80 eastbound off-ramp.
  • Channelizing devices will separate the two lanes immediately south of the off-ramp. Both the Magellan Pipeline access and the dedicated southbound right turn lane onto 9th Street are maintained. 

Southbound 1st Avenue traffic

1st Ave SB traffic control

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

How We're Keeping Traffic Moving

To reduce traffic delays during construction:
  • Staff will monitor traffic times and adjust 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

Duct Bank NB Lane 062017

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.

Stay Informed

  1. All Four Lanes of Coral Ridge Avenue to Open on December 19

    A welcome addition for drivers marks a major milestone in the Coral Ridge Avenue improvements project Read on...
  2. Coral Ridge Avenue Re-Opens on November 16

    Expect one lane of traffic in each direction between Oakdale Blvd. & Forevergreen Rd. Read on...
  3. 6th Street Connection to 1st Avenue to Re-Open on September 18

    Use caution through the work zone and watch for pedestrians, bicyclists, and construction workers Read on...
  1. Construction to Begin on 1st Avenue from 6th Street to 9th Street

    Northbound 1st Avenue will be reduced to one lane from just south of 6th Street to just south of 9th Street Read on...
  2. Two Major Road Reconstruction Projects Begin This Spring

    Drivers should prepare for 1st Avenue & Coral Ridge Avenue road work Read on...
  3. Iowa River Trail Closure

    Trail between the Iowa River Power Restaurant parking lot & E. 7th Street/Quarry Road intersection closed until further notice Read on...
More News