For commuters making their way through the intersection at First Avenue and Collins Road, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Engineers and contractors involved in the construction at the city’s busiest intersection say it will likely take two years before the last orange cone gets pulled to the curb.
Jeffrey Morrow of Anderson-Bogert Engineers & Surveyors Inc. said that even though the roads will remain open, traffic may be reduced to single lanes at points along the popular thoroughfare.
“This process is a lot like going to the dentist,” Morrow said. “It’s not fun. For anyone. But it has to be done.”
It’s a costly trip to the dentist, with a total price tag of around $7.5 million, but most of that money is coming through federal and state funding.
Among the plans are left-hand turn lanes and right-hand committed lanes all throughout the intersection, which Morrow said will cut down on traffic blockages and increase safety.
Beyond that, sections of First Avenue from 40th Street to Tama Street will be raised three feet, and developers will include comprehensive sidewalks and green space on the newly worked properties.
“The city insisted on adding green space, on streetscaping, when we planned this project,” Morrow said.
Morrow said the areas will open back up to traffic during the holiday shopping season.