Interstate 380 Iowa

Interstate 380 Iowa
History
North End
South End

Overview

Interstate 380 forms a long freeway spur leading northwest from I-80 as part of the multi-state Avenue of the Saints corridor (Iowa 27). I-380 joins the cities of Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City in east central Iowa. Coupled with U.S. 218/Iowa 27, the interstate forms a seamless expressway route south to Mount Pleasant, the Keukuk area and ultimately St. Louis, Missouri.

A full cloverleaf interchange joins Interstate 80 with U.S. 218/Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints) on the western outskirts of Iowa City. Interstate 380 begins there, with the trio leading north by the growing suburb of North Liberty to cross Coralville Lake (Iowa River). A rural stretch ensues northward to the Linn County line, where industrial parks appear through the south side of Cedar Rapids.

Interstate 380 and Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints) parts ways with U.S. 218 at the U.S. 30/151 freeway running across the south side of Cedar Rapids. Continuing north, I-380/Iowa 27 become more urban through the viaduct leading to the Cedar River. This stretch of freeway forms an ess curve as it spans the river east to run between Downtown and the Quaker Oats factory. Speed limits on this section are set at 55 miles per hour, with automated enforcement by the city of Cedar Rapids via speed cameras positioned to the south near 3rd Avenue SW and to the north near H Avenue. Four sets of cameras were installed in 2010. Iowa DOT ruled that two of the assemblies must be disabled or removed in March 2015, stating that there was no safety rationale for their use.1 They remained in operation as of March 2016 due to an ongoing appeal filed by the city. The threshold for receiving a citation is 12 miles over the posted limit of 55 MPH.2

Advancing north from central Cedar Rapids, I-380/Iowa 27 remain a busy route to the city of Hiawatha north of Iowa 100 to leave the main built up area beyond Robins. The freeway becomes rural again to Center Point, a bedroom community in northern Linn County, and the ensuing drive through Benton and Buchanan Counties.

Interstate 380 and Iowa 27 combine with the U.S. 20 freeway east of Raymond and Evansdale as they enter the Waterloo area. The three run concurrently for approximately 5.7 miles to a split just west of the Cedar River. Iowa 27 and the Avenue of the Saints corridor remain west along U.S. 20 to Iowa 58 to bypass central Waterloo while U.S. 218 returns to overlap with Interstate 380 for the final two mile spur into the city. I-380 formally ends at the at-grade intersection of U.S. 218 (Washington Street) and Mitchell Avenue.

U.S. 218 extends northward from the I-380 terminus along a divided boulevard to a separate freeway linking Downtown with Cedar Falls (and the Avenue of the Saints corridor) to the northwest. There are no plans to join these two sections of highway presently, though ample right of way exists between Hawthorne Avenue and the freeway beginning at 6th Street.

I-80/I-380 Systems Interchange Project

Started in July 2017, construction replaces the cloverleaf interchange joining I-80/380 at Coralville with a turbine. Extending through August 2024, work also expands I-80 to eight lanes west to Ireland Avenue and ten lanes east to Coral Ridge Avenue. Expansion along I-380 widens the freeway northward through the interchange with Forevergreen Road to six overall lanes.

The exchange with Forevergreen Road was opened to traffic by November 4, 2019. This included Forevergreen Road east from I-380/U.S. 218 to Coral Ridge Avenue. The realignment of Kansas Avenue SW was completed in June 2019.

Construction in 2020 focused on building the new flyover from I-80 east to I-380/U.S. 218 north and the ramp to U.S. 218 south.

I-80/380 Turbine Interchange
I-80 east at I-380 - Coralville, IA

Construction of the flyover that will join I-80 eastbound with I-380/U.S. 218 north to Cedar Rapids. Photo by Peter Johnson (06/21/20).

Route Information

  • North End – Waterloo, IA

  • South End – Coralville, IA

  • Mileage – 73.05

  • Cities – Coralville, North Liberty, Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Robins, Center Point, Urbana, Evansdale, Waterloo

  • JunctionsI-80

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-380 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Northeastern Iowa - 1970
Interstate 380 first appeared on the Iowa Official Highway Map in 1970

The alignment of Interstate 380 between Cedar Rapids and U.S. 20 near Raymond was contested by area farmers, leading to litigation based delays until 1979.4

Waterloo, IA - 1981
Waterloo Inset – 1981 Iowa Official Highway Map

The 1981 map showed the full build out planned for Interstate 380 through Waterloo. The alignment along Washington Street was dropped officially in 1981, with the section north from Downtown assigned as U.S. 218 when it opened in 1992.2

History

The I-380 designation was initially applied by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) to the Des Moines urban loop along side Interstate 235. The I-380 overlap was removed by AASHO on November 10, 1958.3

Interstate 380 was established by AASHTO from I-80 north to Waterloo via Cedar Rapids on June 23, 1969. It appears the number 380 was selected instead of 180 to offset duplication with Iowa 180, a former state route linking Hayesville with Iowa 149 in Keokuk County.

The freeway opened in stages, starting in 1973 and finishing 1985. The following list provides the opening dates for the freeway:4

  • Interstate 80 north to Exit 13 (CR E70) 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 SW: December 15, 1976
  • 5th Avenue SW to 8th Street NE: June 11, 1979
  • 8th Street NW to Glass Road: December 4, 1981
  • Glass Road to Boyson Road: November 17, 19825
  • Hiawatha to Iowa 150 near Urbana: August 14, 19845
  • Iowa 150 to U.S. 20: September 12, 19855
  • U.S. 20 to Mitchell Avenue: August 9, 19845

Highway Guides

North End US 218 / Mitchell Avenue – Waterloo, Iowa

US 218 North at I-380 US 20 Iowa 27

US 218 north at I-380/US 20/Iowa 27 - Waterloo

Northbound U.S. 218 transitions directly onto I-380 at the cloverstack interchange with U.S. 20/Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints). Exit numbers correspond with Interstate 380. Photo by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07).

I-380 US 218 North

I-380/US 218 north at San Marnan Dr - Waterloo, IA

The last exit along Interstate 380 north is with San Marnan Drive by Crossroads Mall in Waterloo. Photo by Peter Johnson (05/02/20).

I-380/US 218 north at San Marnan Dr - Waterloo, IA

A pair of Interstate 380 ends signs stand at the San Marnan Drive underpass in Waterloo. These signs were among the first in Iowa to feature Clearview, which was used by IowaDOT starting in 2006. Photo by Peter Johnson (05/02/20).

I-380/US 218 north at Mitchell Av - Waterloo, IA

U.S. 218 transitions into an at-grade boulevard (Washington Street) from north from the signalized intersection with Mitchell Avenue. Photo by Peter Johnson (05/02/20).

I-380/US 218 north at Mitchell Av - Waterloo, IA

U.S. 218 advances north along Washington Street through another three traffic lights before it upgrades back into a freeway beyond W 9th Street. Photo by Peter Johnson (05/02/20).

I-380 US 218 South

US 218 south at I-380/Mitchell Av - Waterloo, IA

U.S. 218 transitions form Washington Street into Interstate 380 south beyond Mitchell Avenue. Photo by Peter Johnson (05/02/20).

I-380/US 218 south at San Marnan Dr - Waterloo, IA

A diamond interchange (Exit 72) connects I-380/U.S. 218 with San Marnan Avenue just south of Mitchell Avenue. Photos by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07).

I-380/US 218 south at San Marnan Dr - Waterloo, IA

Exit 72 departs for San Marnan Drive and Crossroads Mall one mile north of the I-380/U.S. 218 split. Photo by Peter Johnson (05/02/20).

I-380/US 218 south at San Marnan Dr - 2001

Previous guide signs along I-380/U.S. 218 south at San Marnan Drive. Replacements added Iowa 27 for the Avenue of the Saints corridor, which bypasses Waterloo via Iowa 58 and U.S. 20. Photo by Jason Hancock (03/01).

I-380/US 218 south at US 20/Iowa 27 - Waterloo

A single lane flyover carries the Interstate 380 southbound mainline onto U.S. 20 east / Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints) south for a 5.7 mile overlap. Photo by Peter Johnson (05/02/20).

San Marnan Dr – East at I-380 US 218

San Marnan Dr east at I-380/US 218 - Waterloo, IA

San Marnan Drive constitutes a commercial arterial east parallel to U.S. 20 and north to Crossroads Mall and I-380/U.S. 218. I-380 ends 0.6 miles to the north but is not acknowledged on San Marnan Drive. Photo by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07).

US 20 East Iowa 27 South at I-380 US 218

US 20/Iowa 27 east at I-380/US 218 - Waterloo, IA

Approaching Exits 232A/B with I-380/U.S. 218 north to Downtown and U.S. 218 south to La Porte City, U.S. 20 comprises a full freeway east from Webster City to Waterloo and Manchester. Photo by Jeff Morrison (07/25/07).

US 20/Iowa 27 east at I-380/US 218 - Waterloo, IA

Exit 232A separates from U.S. 20 east at the Hess Road underpass. Signs for I-380 north and U.S. 218 were replaced here by 2012. Photo by Jeff Morrison (11/20/06).

South End I-80 US 218 Iowa 27 – Coralville, Iowa

I-380 US 218 Iowa 27 South at I-80

I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 south at I-80 - North Liberty

The diamond interchange joining I-380 with Forevergreen Road was constructed where the two mile sign for I-80 previously stood. 04/12/13

I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 south at I-80 - Coralville

I-380/U.S. 218/Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints) run south between the Coralville and Tiffin city limits to the exchange (Exits 0B/A) with Interstate 80. 03/30/16

I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 south at I-80 - Coralville

Exit 0B connect I-380/U.S. 218 south with Interstate 80 west to Des Moines and Omaha, Nebraska. 03/30/16

I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 south at I-80 - Coralville

Exit 0A leads onto I-80 east through Coralville and Iowa City to the Quad Cities. U.S. 218/Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints) continue south to Mt. Pleasant and Donnellson. 03/30/16

US 218 Iowa 27 North at I-80 I-380

US 218/Iowa 27 north at I-80/380 - Iowa City

U.S. 218/Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints) leaves built up areas of University Heights and Iowa City by a quarry on the two mile rural stretch preceding I-80/380. Photo by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).

US 218/Iowa 27 north at I-80/380 - Coralville

Interstate 80 constitutes a busy trucking corridor between Des Moines and the Quad Cities across Iowa. The Capital City lies 101 miles to the west. Photo by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).

US 218/Iowa 27 north at I-80/380 - Coralville

One quarter mile ahead of I-80 east to Davenport, Bettendorf and Chicago, Illinois. The freeway east expands to six and eight lanes across the Coralville and Iowa City metropolitan area with four local interchanges. Photo by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).

US 218/Iowa 27 north at I-80/380 - Coralville

Interstate 380 appears for the first time as U.S. 218/Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints) reaches the exit for I-80 east. I-80 travels 50.3 miles to the split with Interstate 280 in Davenport. Photo by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).

US 218/Iowa 27 north at I-80/380 - Coralville

Travelers bound for Des Moines and Omaha loop away from U.S. 218/Iowa 27 north for I-80 west. The exchange between the two freeways is unnumbered in the northbound direction. Photo by Jeff Morrison (03/12/07).

I-80 East at I-380 US 218 Iowa 27

I-80 east at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - Clear Creek

I-80 straddles northern reaches of Sand Hill preceding both a rest area and the Tiffin exit. The exchange with I-380/U.S. 218-Iowa 27 (Avenue of the Saints) follows. Photo by Peter Johnson (06/21/20).

I-80 east at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - Tiffin

I-80 continues one mile east from the exchange with Ireland Avenue at Tiffin to I-380/U.S. 218. Photo by Peter Johnson (06/21/20).
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 between North Carolina and New York. Prior to its renumbering as U.S. 491 on July 1, 2003, U.S. 666 in Colorado and New Mexico was another fitting this criteria.

I-80 east at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - Tiffin

Exit 239A departs from I-80 east for U.S. 218/Iowa 27 south to Mt. Pleasant, Keokuk and St. Louis, Missouri. Iowa 27 was designated in 2001 to provide a single route number for the Avenue of the Saints corridor. Photo by Peter Johnson (06/21/20).
Iowa 27 overlaps with several other routes across the Hawkeye State, with the exception of the southernmost 18 miles from the Missouri line to the merge with U.S. 218.

I-80 east at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - Coralville

Construction in 2020 replaces the loop ramp (Exit 239B) for I-380/U.S. 218-Iowa 27 north to Cedar Rapids and Waterloo with a high speed flyover. Photo by Peter Johnson (06/21/20).
I-380 doubles as a commuter route between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, with 2014 IowaDOT traffic counts topping out at 55,600 vehicles per day at the Linn County line.

I-80 West at I-380 US 218 Iowa 27

I-80 west at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - Coralville

I-80 advances 1.25 miles west from a six-ramp parclo interchange (Exit 240) with Coral Ridge Avenue (old U.S. 218/IA 965) to I-380/U.S. 218/Iowa 27. A greenout here covered two miles. 04/13/13

I-80 west at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - Coralville

Interstate 80 west expands with an auxiliary lane to Exit 239B for I-380 north. These signs were originally installed in November 2003. According to Jeff Morrison, for approximately 24 hours, the right sign displayed “Cedar Radids” instead of Cedar Rapids. 04/13/13

I-80 west at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - Coralville

Interstate 80 west crosses Clear Creek ahead of Exit 239B for I-380-U.S. 218/Iowa 27 north to Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Mason City and Minneapolis-St. Paul. 04/13/13

I-80 west at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - Coralville

A loop ramp (Exit 239A) connects westbound Interstate 80 with U.S. 218/Iowa 27 south to Mount Pleasant. The Avenue of the Saints constitutes a full freeway south to Iowa 22 in northern Washington County. 04/13/13

I-380 South End Throwback

I-80 east at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - 2000

Interstate 80 east at I-380 prior to the designation of Iowa 27 for the Avenue of the Saints. Photo by Jason Hancock (02/00).
Another change in this set of signs was the removal of Iowa 965 for the pre-freeway alignment of U.S. 218 along Coral Ridge Avenue between U.S. 6 and North Liberty to the east.

I-80 east at I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 - 2006

The signs for Exits 239B and 240 were amended to show Iowa 27 north along I-380 and omit Iowa 965, which was decommissioned July 1, 2001, for the adjacent interchange by Coral Ridge Mall. Photo by Jason Hancock (01/06).
U.S. 218 bypassed Iowa City in 1985 when it shifted to I-380 and the new freeway south from I-80.

I-80 west at I-380 - 1976

Interstate 380 north from I-80 predated the U.S. 218 freeway south past University Heights by 12 years. This view looks at the lone ramp departing westbound for I-380 north to U.S. 30 in Cedar Rapids. Photo by Michael Summa (1976).

Sources:

  1. “How one city in Iowa caught 160,000 speeders in less than two years.” Star Tribune (Cedar Rapids, IA), May 13, 2015.
  2. “Speed cameras still operating in Cedar Rapids.” KWWL (Cedar Rapids, IA), March 2 2016.
  3. Stephen Summers’s Interstate system route numbering page.
  4. Iowa Completion Status of Interstate System as of January 1, 1982.” Iowa Department of Transportation.
  5. Interstate 380 in Iowa (by Jason Hancock) – excellent page with plenty of details

Page updated November 3, 2020.