New interchange at U.S. 30 and Hwy 21 now open

The newly opened Hwy 21 interchange at U.S. 30 viewed from the east this past Labor Day, Monday, September 4. PHOTO BY SOREN M. PETERSON

BELLE PLAINE – For those who drive on Hwy 21 south of Dysart, some welcome changes to the route took place last week with the opening of the new Hwy 21 interchange at U.S. 30.

The interchange was built as a part of ongoing construction projects to widen U.S. 30 to four lanes between Tama and Cedar Rapids. In a news release last week, the Iowa Dept. of Transportation thanked the public for their patience during construction.

In March of 2022, Hwy 21 between the Elberon turn at E44 and U.S. 30 was closed as construction on the interchange began. The $16.4 million project was predicted to last 18 months.

In the wake of the new interchange’s opening, the Iowa DOT announced it would be closing Hwy V40/13th Avenue south of U.S. 30 beginning September 5.

The roughly dozen miles of Hwy 30 that now remain as two-lane – all in Benton County – are slated to be upgraded to four-lane as well. Construction on that portion of the project is set to finish in early 2025, according to John Lamping, a resident construction engineer for the Iowa Dept. of Transportation District 6 Office.