Area leaders travel to Washington, D.C. to seek support for Tower Terrace Road project

Additional $56 million required to finish 8.3-mile roadway

Tower Terrace Road Robins Road intersection
A van turns north at the T intersection of Tower Terrace Road Robins Road. The intersection is an example of the uncompleted sections of the Tower Terrace Road extension project. CREDIT RICHARD PRATT

This week, representatives of Marion, Cedar Rapids and other area communities traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for federal grant funding for the Tower Terrace Road construction project on behalf of the cities of Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Robins and Marion.

Mayor Nick AbouAssaly was joined by Marion deputy city manager Kim Downs and public services and utilities director Mike Barkalow, along with representatives of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and other cities throughout the region.

The delegation was seeking financial support from federal transportation officials to complete the remaining segments of Tower Terrace Road, to be built between Interstate 380 and Highway 13. The group also rallied support for the region’s 2024 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant request, as well as the 2024 Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant (MPDG) application.

Tower Terrace Road lobbying trip
Doug Neumann, executive director of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance; Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly; Kim Downs, deputy city manager for the City of Marion; Mike Barkalow, public services and utilities director for the City of Marion; and Barbra Solberg, public policy strategist for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance pause for a photo in front of the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2024, as they lobby for support for Tower Terrace Road. CREDIT CITY OF MARION

Officials say completing the project will require $56 million in funding.

Two joint applications with the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization, Linn County and the cities of Marion, Hiawatha, Cedar Rapids and Robins were submitted recently, one in February requesting $25 million in RAISE funding and the other in May requesting $38 million in MPDG Rural Transportation funding.

The applications also included 117 letters of support from local businesses and regional partners.

RAISE award announcements are anticipated the week of June 24, and MPDG award announcements are expected later this fall.

Area leaders say completion of the project will improve existing infrastructure, expand access and connectivity, increase motorist safety and advance the overall sustainability and efficiency of the region.

When completed, Tower Terrace Road will directly serve over 1,000 acres of mixed-use development.

During the meetings in Washington, D.C., local leaders told federal officials that for every transportation dollar spent, there is an estimated $7.33 benefit for the communities included in the application.

The completed Tower Terrace Road will take pressure off existing streets like Boyson Road and East Robins Road, among others, and will alleviate a shortage of east-west connections between Interstate 380 and Highway 13.

When completed, the road will span 8.3 miles through the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Robins, unincorporated Linn County and Marion corridor, providing a contiguous traffic route from Interstate 380 to Highway 13.