Raised Dubuque Street and Park Road Bridge Proposal

A rendering of the proposed raised Dubuque Street and Park Road Bridge

[Source: “Raising Dubuque Street: Potential Delays,” The Peninsula Neighborhood, 27 August 2013, by Adam Pretorius]

A line of cars at a standstill extend down Dodge Street as the busy commuter traffic jams the intersection from exiting traffic on Interstate 80. This isn’t ordinary commuter traffic, however, as the flooded Dubuque Street forces commuters to double up on the Dodge Street exit. Jonah Parker, investment analyst for the Univeristy of Iowa Foundation staff, waits in line to get to his office downtown from his Peninsula home. “I try to avoid the interstate,” says Jonah, who prefers to cut across Linder Road to connect to north Dodge Street before cutting through the north end of town to reach the Levitt Center.

The flooding of 2013 closed Dubuque Street for three weeks, forcing residents to seek alternative routes. Meanwhile, construction on the interstate’s Dubuque off-ramp from the east is closed, and improvements to the Dubuque St on-ramps reduce traffic to one lane. As the flood waters receded and Dubuque reopened to through traffic, the lane reduction from the construction continues to cause delays and long waits. This might be a common delay for the next few years as improvements and the raising of Dubuque Street will cause residents and commuters to exercise patience especially during rush hour traffic.

“I’m going to have to schedule more time for getting to and from work,” says Jonah when asked about the proposed Dubuque Street construction.

Proposed plans include the raising of Dubuque Street and the Park Road bridge, temporarily restricting and limiting this popular route’s access to downtown Iowa City and the University campus. Construction is expected to take up to four years. Though the plans have not been finalized, residents should prepare for delays once construction begins. It is widely observed that flooding problems on Dubuque St. are recurring and that the end result of the city’s efforts likely will be well worth some inconvenience.

Dubuque Street under water, June 2013, blocking the usual thoroughfare to downtown Iowa City and the University campus

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