1st Avenue Improvements

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

1st Avenue between 6th Street and 9th Street began total reconstruction in 2018 and will finish in spring 2019. This is the final section of 1st Avenue that needs to be improved south of Interstate 80.


Reconstruction on this stretch of 1st Avenue features:
  • 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

At a Glance

Final improvements for spring 2019: 
  • Railroad crossing signals and gates at 1st Avenue & 6th Street
  • Traffic signals at 1st Avenue & E. 7th Street
  • Roadway lighting along the east side of 1st Avenue
  • Sidewalk and brick paver treatments along the east side of 1st Avenue
  • Northbound 1st Avenue right turn lane onto E. 7th Street
  • Final landscaping, including street trees
Spring 2019 traffic impact:
  • Northbound and southbound 1st Avenue approaching 6th Street are reduced to one through lane and one dedicated left turn lane.  
  • Additional street and sidewalk paving north of 6th Street will require lane closures, but efforts will be made to minimize the duration. 
  • Project should be substantially complete by the end of May 2019.


Current & Upcoming Work*

Work May 9-16 included:
  • The permanent northbound 1st Avenue left turn lane at 6th Street is now open.
  • Completed plants and mulch in the 1st Avenue medians at the railroad crossing.  Remaining brick pavers in the 1st Avenue medians (primarily the median noses) will be completed the week of May 20
  • Completed concrete banding and subslabs for the large pedestrian areas on the SE and NE corners of 1st Avenue & E. 2nd Avenue; brick paver installation is ongoing in these areas. 
  • The railroad crossing subcontractor is substantially complete with the signal and gate installations.
  • Completed grading and poured sidewalk and paver banding from Super 8’s driveway north across the frontage of Latitude to the SE corner of E. 7th Street. The paver subslab might be poured on May 17. 
  • Completed concrete banding subslab for the pedestrian area on the NE corner of E. 7th Street.
  • Poured light poles bases, installed light poles, and completed electrical wiring across the front of Latitude.  All light pole work is now complete on this project. 
  • Completed cleanup and grading along west side of 1st Ave between the railroad crossing and Pipeline Road.
Progress expected May 16-23, weather permitting:
  • Permanent signage and pavement markings are scheduled for May 20. 
  • The permanent southbound 1st Avenue left turn lane at 6th Street should open on May 21.
  • Handrail installation on the 6th Street steps is scheduled for mid-week. 
  • Repair damage to 6th Street median landscaping and brick pavers caused by the railroad crossing signal/gate installation. 
  • Complete all remaining brick paver installation. 
  • Complete landscaping (trees, plantings, sod) along both sides of 1st Avenue and complete project cleanup.  
Looking ahead:
  • The 1st Avenue project has a May 24 substantial completion date. 
*Updated May 16, 2019
Finishing 1st logo

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

About the Project

  1. Cost
  2. Timeline
  3. Traffic Impact
  4. Resources
  5. Videos


  • 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

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

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.

How We Keep Traffic Moving

To reduce traffic delays during construction:
  • Staff monitors traffic times and adjusts 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

Stay Informed

  1. Construction to Resume on Coral Ridge Avenue

    Construction on Coral Ridge Ave. between Oakdale Blvd. and Forevergreen Rd. will start again on April 2 Read on...
  1. Construction to Resume on 1st Avenue

    Work on the final remaining improvements for 1st Avenue from 6th Street to 9th Street will start again on April 1 Read on...
More News