First part of Floyd interchange project being completed this week on US 18/218

FLOYD — Traffic patterns are changing at the intersection of US Highway 18 and 218 at Floyd County Road T-44 south of Floyd this week along the Avenue of the Saints.

Pete Hjelmstad of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Mason City office says they plan to have that intersection open tomorrow.  “What that means is eastbound-southbound traffic will be using the new eastbound-southbound lanes, which means they’ll be using the overpass. If they want to go onto T-44, the county road that runs south there, or if they want to exit and go northbound 218 into Floyd, they will also be using the on-and-off-ramps. For westbound-northbound traffic, they will actually be pretty much the same as they are now, except it will not be head-to-head.”

Hjelmstad says the traffic signals will remain in place for now. He says it’s been quite a chore to create the overpass at the intersection.  “Compared to what it used to be at its highest point there at the bridge, I believe it’s about 28 feet higher than it was before. That’s a lot of dirt that has to be hauled in. Every 8-to-12 inches or so, they have to make sure it’s compacted before they put more dirt on. So it’s not just hauling dirt in and piling it up. It’s hauling it in, it’s compacting it, it’s making sure it’s at the right level, and there’s a lot that goes into it.”

Hjelmstad says their goal was to get that new stretch of road opened by November 22nd, and he’s glad to see they were able to stay on goal.