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July 24, 2000 For more information contact:
John Rullman
515-262-5692


I-35 & 80 TO BE CLOSED FOR SIGN REMOVAL

DES MOINES, IOWA - Northbound Interstate 35 and eastbound Interstate 80 at the southwest side of the Des Moines metro area will be closed for short intervals this week, weather permitting. The closures are due to upgrades of the overhead changeable message signs in the Des Moines area.

Northbound I-35 approximately one mile north of the Grand Avenue interchange (Exit 69) will be closed Tuesday night, July 25, beginning at 12:30 a.m. In addition, lanes of the interstate at this location will be closed for longer periods to remove the old overhead changeable message sign, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation's Des Moines construction office. The shoulder will be closed, beginning at 10 p.m., and one lane of I-35 will be closed in this area beginning at 11 p.m. The complete closure of I-35 is scheduled to begin at 12:30 a.m. There may be more than one closure, but none of the closures will be longer than 20 minutes at a time. All work is scheduled to be completed by 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Removal of the old changeable message sign on eastbound I-80 just west of the 74th Street interchange (Exit 121) is scheduled to be done Wednesday night, July 26. The time schedule will be the same as the I-35 removal: The shoulder will be closed, beginning at 10 p.m., and one lane of I-80 will be closed in this area beginning at 11 p.m. The complete closure of I-80 is scheduled to begin at 12:30 a.m. There may be more than one closure, but none of the closures will be longer than 20 minutes at a time. All work is scheduled to be completed by 6 a.m. Thursday, July 27.

The message boards are used to notify motorists of urgent situations, such as crashes, and traffic- and weather-related emergencies. The new boards are being installed as part of the overall traffic and construction management system in the Des Moines area. They are replacing outdated message signs for which parts are no longer available, and that do not meet modern-day needs. The new boards are scheduled to be installed July 31 on I-35 and Aug. 1 on I-80.

Troopers from the Iowa State Patrol will assist the Iowa DOT with traffic control in the work areas.

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