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City Wins ´Project of the Year' Award for Roundabout

City of Cedar Rapids Wins ‘Project of the Year’ Award for Kirkwood Blvd Roundabout

The American Public Works Association Iowa Chapter has recently awarded the City of Cedar Rapids with the “Project of the Year” award for the Kirkwood Blvd Roundabout.

Constructed in 2017 in front of Prairie Point Middle School (8015 Kirkwood Blvd SW), the new roundabout alleviated the chronic traffic backups that occurred daily during the morning and afternoon drop-off/pick-up times on the College Community School District campus. The congestion required the presence of a police officer who would assist with traffic control every day. A permanent, long-term solution was needed to ensure the campus could operate efficiently and support future growth.

A single lane roundabout was constructed at this critical intersection to improve both safety and traffic efficiency. The roundabout was ideal at a school entrance where signals aren’t needed most times throughout the day, but peak times require traffic control. The roundabout requires vehicles to slow down to enter the intersection, creating a safer environment for pedestrians. The roundabout design not only improved the safety and efficiency of this intersection, but also included landscaping to announce and beautify the school’s main entry, rain gardens to treat stormwater runoff, and new energy efficient lighting.

In addition to the roundabout, the project also included a new arch culvert to replace a deteriorating box culvert, which is more aesthetically pleasing and was able to be constructed in a shorter time period. The new arch culvert eliminated standing water on the roadway during heavy rain events.

With a strict road closure window of just two and a half months during the school’s summer hiatus, construction was completed on time and the intersection was open two weeks before the start of the school year so that school buses could practice navigating the new roundabout. The award also recognized the extensive community outreach that was done during the project’s design and construction, including mailers, open houses, parent and teacher outreach, and website presence.

The project was completed in March of 2017 at $1.83 million. The construction contractor was Boomerang Corp. (formerly called Ricklefs Excavating, Ltd); the design consultant was Bolton & Menk, Inc.

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