City of Waukee Prepares for First Day of School Traffic Challenges
The following is a press release from The City of Waukee:
The City of Waukee is putting extra time and strategy into preparing for the first day of school on August 13 as construction continues at the intersection of Alice’s Road and University Avenue. The intersection—within a mile of Waukee High School, South Middle School, Waukee Middle School and Prairieview School—is down to one lane on University Avenue at the intersection, causing a slower flow of traffic. The construction is part of the Alice’s Road and Grand Prairie Parkway road improvement projects and will continue through November.
“Our goal is to ease stress and wait times in traffic for the families and students getting to school during that first week,” said Public Works Director John Gibson.
Waukee’s Public Works Department is facing the issue head on by working with the Waukee Police Department and the Waukee Community School District. Plans include accelerating the flow of traffic on University Avenue going east or west, depending on the time of day. This will be accomplished by changing the timing of the signals at the intersection, syncing the lights at the intersections along University Avenue and providing an increased police presence at crucial intersections along University.
The timing of the traffic signals will be lengthened at the intersection of Alice’s Road and University Avenue from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. each morning, allowing more cars heading westbound on University to get through the intersection at the green light during peak traffic times. From 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the timing of the signals at the intersection allowing traffic to flow east on University will then be lengthened, allowing more cars heading eastbound out of Waukee to get through the intersection. Temporary detectors will be placed in the turn lanes during these times as well to allow for a protected turn and increased flow in traffic.
“The main message is to allow extra time,” said Waukee Chief of Police John Quinn. “We ask that drivers be patient and pay close attention to their surroundings.”
The Waukee Police Department is encouraging families, students and Waukee residents to take an alternate route during those first weeks of school, if possible. That route would have them taking Ashworth Road, L.A. Grant Parkway or Hickman Road, as opposed to University Avenue or Alice’s Road. Construction is complete on L.A. Grant Parkway and the road will be open on August 9.
“We will be continually assessing and realigning our strategy depending on the success of the first two weeks of school,” said Gibson.