The first phase of a $32.5 million reconstruction of University Avenue in Cedar Falls is scheduled to get underway on Tuesday (March 1, 2016).

According to information released by the city, installation of the water main is the initial part of the project. Placing the water main requires the closure of Valley Park Dr. from University Ave. south through the south frontage road, a heavily-used access route for College Square Mall. The closure will be in effect for two weeks, depending on the weather.

Once the contractor re-opens Valley Park Dr., Holiday Road will be closed in front of the mall -- between University and the south frontage road -- so crews can install water main through the next intersection. The closure of Holiday Road is also expected to last two weeks, weather permitting.

A local Cedar Falls construction company was awarded the contract for phase one of the project. The estimated cost to rebuild the former U.S. Highway 218 corridor from Iowa Highway 58/27 to McClain Drive -- in front of Black Hawk Village Shopping Center and College Square Mall -- is $14 million.

The entire University Avenue project in Cedar Falls calls for narrowing the road from six lanes to four and adding six roundabouts between Midway Drive and Hudson Road. If everything goes as scheduled, construction on the complete project would be finished in 2018.

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