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Interstate 380 Iowa

 

Routing

Interstate 380 is a north-south Interstate along the Avenue of the Saints Corridor. Interstate 380 facilitates traffic between Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, with its southern terminus at Interstate 80 west of the Quad Cities and its northern terminus just north of the U.S. 20 freeway in Waterloo. U.S. 218 overlaps twice with the freeway, and Interstate 380 is cosigned with Iowa 27 (the Avenue of the Saints) from its south end to approximately 1.50 miles south of Interstate 380's north end (at the west end of the U.S. 20 multiplex).

History

In Iowa, Interstate 380 opened in stages, starting in 1973 and finishing 1985. The following list provides the opening dates for the freeway:1

  • Interstate 80 north to Exit 13 in Cedar Rapids: September 19, 1973
  • Exit 13 to U.S. 30-151-218 Lincoln Freeway: June 25, 1976
  • U.S. 30-151-218 Lincoln Freeway to 5th Avenue S.W.: December 15, 1976
  • 5th Avenue S.W. to 8th Street N.E.: June 11, 1979
  • 8th Street N.W. to Glass Road: December 4, 1981
  • Glass Road to Boyson Road: November 17, 19822
  • Hiawatha to Iowa 150 near Urbana: August 14, 19842
  • Iowa 150 to U.S. 20: September 12, 19852
  • U.S. 20 to Mitchell Avenue: August 9, 19842

Southern Terminus - Interstate 80 - Iowa City, Iowa
Perspective from Interstate 380 and U.S. 218 south
After the County Route F-28 interchange for North Liberty, southbound Interstate 380 approaches the final exit with Interstate 80. Both U.S. 218 and Iowa 27 continue south from this point as part of the Avenue of the Saints. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
The interchange with Interstate 80 is a cloverleaf. The first ramp connects to Interstate 80 west to Des Moines (Exit 0B), while the second ramp connects to Interstate 80 east to Iowa City, the Quad Cities, and Chicago (Exit 0A). Use Exit 0A to Coralville on U.S. 6. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
A second set of overheads is posted on southbound Interstate 380, U.S. 218, and Iowa 27. The state route continues along the divided highway alignment of the Avenue of the Saints, which takes the route south into Missouri west of Keokuk and south of Argyle via a toll bridge. U.S. 218 generally follows the Avenue of the Saints to Donnellson, but it angles away from Iowa 27/Avenue of the Saints by turning southeast toward Keokuk, where it ends at U.S. 136. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
This sign bridge on southbound Interstate 380, contains the "END Interstate 380" overhead, at the junction of Interstate 380/U.S. 218 with Interstate 80 near Coralville. The freeway continues as south U.S. 218. U.S. 218 is merged with Interstate 380 for 16 miles from the interchange with U.S. 30 in Cedar Rapids to Interstate 80. The paired route of U.S. 218 and Iowa 27 travel four miles southeast to Iowa City and their first interchange: Exit 93 at Melrose Avenue. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
These close-ups of the signs from the previous photobox show that Iowa uses the state name in many of its overhead signs. Note the narrow shield for the Interstate 380 ends sign. Photos taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
Perspective from U.S. 218 north
The first signage for the junction with Interstate 80 and Interstate 380 near Iowa City is this two-mile advance sign along northbound U.S. 218 and Iowa 27/Avenue of the Saints. Interstate 380 is not mentioned on these initial roadside signs. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
One mile north is this advance sign for Interstate 80 found along northbound U.S. 218 and Iowa 27. Note the use of the state name of IOWA in the Interstate 80 shield. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
Use Interstate 80 east to the Quad Cities, with Davenport as the control city. Note that there has not yet been any signage for the beginning of Interstate 380 yet. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
Overhead on northbound U.S. 218 at Junction Interstate 80 eastbound, approaching Junction Interstate 80 westbound. Note that the Iowa 27 designation was added in 2001, so the first sign photo does not show Iowa 27. Iowa 27 follows the corridor of the Avenue of the Saints in the state of Iowa. Photos taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07) and Rich Piehl (07/04/02).
The interchange between Interstate 380/U.S. 218/Iowa 27 and Interstate 80 is a cloverleaf. The loop ramp in the cloverleaf connects northbound Avenue of the Saints with westbound Interstate 80 to Des Moines, the Iowa state capital. Interstate 380 continues north from here toward Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. U.S. 218 continues to share alignment with Interstate 380 until Cedar Rapids, while Iowa 27 stays on Interstate 380 almost all the way to downtown Waterloo. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
Perspective from Interstate 80 east
Three miles west of the interchange with Interstate 380, this roadside sign is posted on eastbound Interstate 80. Interstate 380, U.S. 218, and Iowa 27 travel north via the Avenue of the Saints to Council Bluffs and Waterloo. To the south, U.S. 218 and Iowa 27 travel toward Mt. Pleasant and Missouri via the Avenue of the Saints. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (09/07/06).
Eastbound Interstate 80 approaches Exits 239A-B. Exit 239B is junction southbound U.S. 218 and Iowa 27; Exit 239A is junction northbound Interstate 380, U.S. 218, and Iowa 27. U.S. 218 is a rarity: an even-numbered north-south U.S. route. Other north-south even-numbered U.S. routes include U.S. 550 in Colorado and U.S. 220 through the Mid-Atlantic states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. Prior to its decommissioning on July 1, 2003, U.S. 666 was another even-numbered north-south route. U.S. 666 is now known as U.S. 491. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
Eastbound Interstate 80 at Exit 239B, Junction Southbound U.S. 218 and Iowa 27; the next exit is Exit 239A, Junction Northbound Interstate 380 and friends. The Iowa 27 designation was assigned in 2001 to provide a single route number for the high priority corridor Avenue of the Saints. Unfortunately, Iowa 27 overlaps several other routes, and only has a section or two that is alone. While having multiple route numbers on a single stretch of highway used to be common, in many states, overlapping routes have been decommissioned in favor of one number for one roadway. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
Eastbound Interstate 80 reaches Exit 239A, Junction Interstate 380, U.S. 218, and Iowa 27 north. The first two photos show the exit prior to the designation of Iowa 27 along the Avenue of the Saints. Interstate 380 is a freeway from here north to Waterloo via Cedar Rapids, a distance of approximately 73 miles. South of here, the Interstate 380 freeway transitions into the U.S. 218 freeway. Southbound U.S. 218 remains a freeway until Richmond and a divided highway until Mount Pleasant. Photos taken by Jason Hancock (2/00), Jim Teresco (07/01), and Jason Hancock (01/06).
Perspective from Interstate 80 west
An interesting stand-alone sign for the junction with Interstate 380 first appears on westbound Interstate 80 between the Atalissa interchange (Exit 265) and the West Liberty interchange (Exit 259). This sign advises that westbound Interstate 80 will meet Interstate 380 (to Cedar Rapids and Waterloo) in 23 miles. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
About 21 miles further west along Interstate 80, this two-mile guide sign used to be in place for the southern terminus of Interstate 380 (but has since been replaced). This sign was posted at the interchange with the now-former Iowa 965 (which was one of the many state highways that was decommissioned on July 1, 2001, as the result of a legislative act) at Exit 240. Photo taken by Jason Hancock (09/01).
Westbound Interstate 80 approaches Exits 239B-A, Junction Interstate 380, U.S. 218, and Iowa 27/Avenue of the Saints, one mile. The right lane becomes exit only for Interstate 380 north. These signs were originally put up in November 2003. For approximately 24 hours, the right sign said "Cedar Radids" instead of Cedar Rapids. In addition, the left sign should indicate 1 1/4 miles instead of 1 mile. At far left is the back of the eastbound sign for former Iowa 965/former U.S. 218. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
In 1976, this photo shows how westbound Interstate 80 interchanged with Interstate 380 at the southern terminus near Iowa City. This set of signs appears to be reflectorized, and most likely were some of the first to be found on the Iowa Interstate system. Note also the centered exit tab and lack of Exit 239A panel for the U.S. 218 freeway south, which had yet to be constructed. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1976).
The same sign bridge as displayed in the above photograph at the Interstate 380 northbound beginning. Note that the median is now comprised of a jersey barrier and the addition of U.S. 218 and Iowa 28 to the fold of guide signs. The Interstate 80 pull-through panel is very small and offers no destination or control cities. Photos taken by AARoads (09/04/05) and Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
Shortly thereafter, a loop ramp connects westbound Interstate 80 to Exit 239A, U.S. 218 and Iowa 27/Avenue of the Saints south to Mount Pleasant. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).
Perspective from Interstate 380, U.S. 218, and Iowa 27 north
After the Interstate 80 interchange, this is the first reassurance shield assembly for northbound Interstate 380, U.S. 218, and Iowa 27. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspective from County Route F-28 (west of North Liberty)
Between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, Interstate 380 is cosigned with U.S. 218 and Iowa 27 at every interchange. This is a typical assembly, found on eastbound County Route F-28 west of North Liberty at the junction with Interstate 380. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Northern Terminus - Waterloo, Iowa
Perspective from U.S. 218 north
Northbound U.S. 218 transitions directly onto Interstate 380 upon intersecting with U.S. 20. At this juncture, Interstate 380 turns from U.S. 20 west onto U.S. 218 north for the final distance into Waterloo. Note the milepost is for U.S. 218, while the exit numbers belong to Interstate 380. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07).
Perspective from Interstate 380 and U.S. 218 north
Northbound Interstate 380/Iowa 27 and westbound U.S. 20 approaches Junction U.S. 218 just south of Waterloo. Interstate 380 spurs north from the U.S. 20 freeway for a mile or so, then comes to an end in the city. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (07/04/02).
A pair of Interstate 380 ENDS 1/2 mile signs are posted immediately after the San Marnan Drive exit in Waterloo. A traffic signal ahead marks the northern end of Interstate 380. These signs are among the first in Iowa to feature Clearview, which first appeared in Iowa in 2006. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (11/20/06).
New tenth-mile markers were placed in the median of freeways and expressways in the Waterloo area in fall 2004. This is the last one on Interstate 380; the stoplight at right is Mitchell Avenue. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (11/20/06).
Although no "END" signs are posted, this stoplight at Mitchell Avenue and Washington Street is the official end of Interstate 380. The road continues as U.S. 218, becoming a freeway again after over a mile of at-grade intersections and stoplights. Photo taken by Jason Hancock (8/98).
Perspective from U.S. 63 south
Interstate 380 begins its southerly journey in downtown Waterloo. Signs along U.S. 218 and U.S. 63 point the way to southbound Interstate 380, which provides a freeway connection from Waterloo to Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Chicago, and Des Moines. This advance Interstate 380 trailblazer is located along southbound U.S. 63 in downtown Waterloo as U.S. 63 approaches its interchange with U.S. 218. This is about two miles north of Interstate 380's actual north end. Photos taken by Jason Hancock (3/01) and Jeff Morrison (11/20/06).
Also on southbound U.S. 63, just past the first sign set, is this relatively recent addition: overhead signs for U.S. 63 and U.S. 218 to Interstate 380. The traffic signal is for Jefferson Street. While mainline U.S. 218 south is on that bridge, getting to Interstate 380 from here will require following Washington Street at grade for a while. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (11/20/06).
Perspective from U.S. 218 south
A bit further south along U.S. 218 after its interchange with U.S. 63 is this "TO Interstate 380" trailblazer on the at-grade section of U.S. 218. Although once contemplated, it is very unlikely that U.S. 218 through Waterloo would be considered for conversion to Interstate status. In fact, the Avenue of the Saints (Iowa 27) stays west of Waterloo and passes to the west of the city via Cedar Falls. Photo taken by Jason Hancock (3/01).
Perspective from Interstate 380 and U.S. 218 south
Continuing south on U.S. 218 after the Mitchell Avenue traffic light, Interstate 380 begins. Milepost 73.05 is the first official milepost along Interstate 380 southbound. In case you are wondering, the last milepost along northbound Interstate 380 and U.S. 218 is Milepost 73.10, which is located near the Mitchell Avenue traffic light. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (06/27/02).
This overhead sign for Exit 72 (San Marnan Avenue) is the first one along southbound Interstate 380 and U.S. 218. It is located just south of the Mitchell Avenue stoplight. An Eisenhower Interstate System sign is shown in this photo, but it has since been removed (see second photograph). Photos taken by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07 and 06/27/02).
Looking north from the southbound shoulder is this photo of the back of the Exit 72 overhead. In the distance is the intersection and associated traffic lights for the north end at Mitchell Avenue. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (06/27/02).
This sign bridge is located at Exit 72, San Marnan Drive along southbound, with the first Interstate 380 sign. Interstate 380 leaves U.S. 218 and joins eastbound U.S. 20 a mile south of here; the two highways stay together for six miles before splitting. Note the newer signage, which features Clearview font. Photos taken by Jason Hancock (07/25/07 and 03/01).
After the San Marnan Drive interchange, the next exit along Interstate 380 south is the connection onto U.S. 20 east via Exit 71. One must exit from Interstate 380 to stay on Interstate 380. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07).
Perspective from San Marnan Drive east
These U.S. 218 and Interstate 380 shields are posted on eastbound San Marnan Drive. While Interstate 380 technically extends half a mile north of this interchange, only southbound Interstate 380 is signed from here. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07).
Perspective from U.S. 20 east
Now traveling east on U.S. 20, this advance sign for Interstate 380 and U.S. 218 is posted as Exits 232A-B. Interstate 380 and U.S. 218 travel north into Waterloo, while U.S. 20 and Interstate 380 travel south toward Dubuque and Cedar Rapids. U.S. 218 travels south from this interchange toward Vinton. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07).
Traveling east on U.S. 20 is Exits 232A-B, Junction U.S. 218 and Interstate 380. This interchange is about a mile and a half south of Interstate 380's north end. Northbound Interstate 380 is the second right, while Interstate 380 south merges onto U.S. 20 east straight ahead. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (11/20/06).

Sources:

  1. Iowa Interstate - 50th Anniversary (web site no longer online)
  2. Interstate 380 in Iowa (by Jason Hancock) - excellent page with plenty of details

Page Updated April 20, 2008.

 
Mileage

State Iowa
Mileage 73.05
Cities Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo
Junctions Interstate 80
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
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