As the year comes to a close, so apparently does the worst of a traffic nightmare lasting the better part of six months for folks driving around Marion.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Seventh Avenue reopened on Friday night.

This completes phase one of a multi-phase project in Uptown Marion that includes renovations for a cityscape project.

This first phase shut down a key traffic area of Seventh Avenue between 10th Street and 12th Street along the border of City Square Park and the old Marion Square Plaza strip mall. According to the Gazette:

The project has included the reconstruction of the street and sidewalks and the replacement of underground utilities, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water main on Seventh Avenue between 10th and 12th streets.

The reconstruction project began in July, and while most businesses have technically stayed open throughout, at least one could not withstand the traffic challenges and Urban Pie made the difficult decision to close permanently.

As for next spring's work, assistant city engineer Jacob Hahn says the center turn lane between 10th and 12th streets has been removed, allowing for more access to those businesses who have struggled to see customers during the construction. All that's left to do there is mostly surface improvements.

The remaining work will be split into another four phases in 2022, which Hahn hopes will be completed by next November:

  • 10th Street from Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue
  • 10th Street from Sixth Avenue to Seventh Avenue
  • Seventh Avenue from Eighth Street to 10th Street
  • Ninth Street from Sixth Avenue to Seventh Avenue

The bottom line is that while there is still plenty of work to be done, the most inconvenient aspects that have kept Seventh Avenue closed will now allow for the busy hub of Uptown Marion to be open for easier access once again.

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