Waterloo-Cedar Falls Highway Chronology

The area covered in this map is approximately that of the current Waterloo-Cedar Falls inset on the state map, plus southward to Hudson. Running from upper left to lower right is the Cedar River. Each year's box lists the street routing for major highways and the junction or end points for certain routes. Underneath that, all the changes that happened between that map and the next.

Note: Alignments shown in Cedar Falls may or may not have been used in 1925; they were in flux in the mid-1920s.
IA 57, W-E: Unnamed rural road (future University Ave southwest of town), Hudson Road, 27th St, Normal Ave (future College St), 18th St, Main St; end Main at 13th
Fifth Street Bridge: Going northeastward, carries EB 5 and NB 40/59

October 16, 1926: US 20 replaces IA 5; US 218 replaces IA 40 except between Cedar Falls and IA 59. Instead, 20 takes 40's route and 218 takes 5's route. The Highway Commission refuses to change this at its meeting December 14.
1929: US 218 changes from Rainbow-Commercial alignment to Falls-Washington alignment, either simultaneously or in stages
1931: IA 57 realigned on new route on south side of Cedar Falls

US 20, W-E: W 1st St, Lincoln St, Cedar Bend St, Parker St, Burton Ave, Riehl St, Broadway, Park Rd, Oak Ave, Franklin St, 6th St, Walnut St, Independence Ave
IA 59, N-S: Logan Ave, Franklin St (share w/20), 5th St, Grant Ave, 4th St
US 218, N-S: Center St, 7th St, Main St, 13th St, Waterloo Rd, Falls Ave, Washington St, La Porte Rd. At the time, Waterloo Road was a rural drive!
Fifth Street Bridge: Both directions of IA 59

Jct. 20/59: Franklin/Logan to Franklin/5th
Jct. 59/218: 5th/Washington
End 57: Main St at 14th St

December 1, 1934: US 63 replaces IA 59 ("Primary road No. 59 will become a federal highway," Toledo Chronicle, Dec. 13)
December 18, 1934: IA 57 extended along 218 and 20 to IA 59-turning-US 63 north of Waterloo
April 9, 1935: IA 58 extended north via County Road C and dirt road to meet 20 ("C.Falls-Hudson Road Put In Iowa Primary System", Waterloo Daily Courier, March 26)
August 8, 1939: IA 297 is commissioned between downtown Waterloo and Evansdale
October 31, 1939: US 63 taken off 5th, put on 4th and Park (with a block on Washington)

US 20, W-E: W 1st St, Lincoln St, Cedar Bend St, Parker St, Burton Ave, Riehl St, Broadway, Park Rd, Oak Ave, Franklin St, 7th St, Walnut St, Independence Ave
US 63, N-S: Logan Ave, Franklin St (share w/20), 5th St, Grant Ave, 4th St
US 218, N-S: Center St, 7th St, Main St, 14th St, Waterloo Rd, Falls Ave, Washington St, La Porte Rd
Park Street Bridge: Both directions of US 63
Note: Main St in Cedar Falls north of 7th is IA 57 only

Jct. 20/63: Franklin/Logan to Franklin/5th
Jct. 63/218: 5th/Washington
End 57: Lincoln (now Airline Hwy in Waterloo) at Logan
End 58: Hudson at W 1st
End 297: Lafayette at Park

1940s: 218 connector between Main and Franklin in Cedar Falls changes from 7th Street to 6th
Before 1952: Park Avenue bridge becomes 63 northbound, while 5th Street becomes 63 southbound; one-ways extended south of Washington to Grant Avenue. This changes back to Washington before 1959.
Before 1952: East-west jog of 218 moved from 6th to 4th in Cedar Falls (57 remains on Main)
1954: 218 moved off 14th Street and part of Waterloo Road to meet Main Street at 27th
1956: 57 and 58 swap routes north of the University/Hudson intersection, lengthening 57's duplex with 20 and making 58 end at 218, and also giving six blocks of Main to Cedar Falls after 218's east-west jog returned to 6th
1956 and 1957: Four-lane freeway proposed running south from "new Hwy. 20" in Waterloo
1957: Falls Avenue alignment of 218 straightened out west of Washington Street; this is the part that became Headford Avenue.
1957: US 20 "streamlined" along a new Broadway route between Lincoln Street and Franklin Avenue downtown. The Broadway-Park and Oak-Franklin intersections on 20 are blocked off today.
September 19, 1958: New 20 opens between East 7th Street and Jesup, including four-lane divided highway to Elk Run Heights; IA 281 extended along Independence Avenue into Waterloo; IA 297's north end moved to Raymond
1960: IA 412 commissioned between West 4th Street (63) and La Porte Road (218) along San Marnan Drive
1961: 63 moved onto new Sergeant Road between Hudson and San Marnan Drive

US 20, W-E: W 1st St, Lincoln St, Broadway, Franklin St, Dubuque Rd
US 63, N-S: Logan Ave, Franklin St (share w/20), Park Ave (NB)/5th St (SB), Washington St (share w/218), 4th St, San Marnan Dr, Sergeant Rd
US 218, N-S: Center/Franklin St, 4th St, Main St, 27th St, Waterloo Rd, Falls Ave, Headford Ave, Washington St, La Porte Rd
Fifth Street Bridge: SB US 63 only

Jct. 20/63: Franklin/Logan to Franklin/5th
Jct. 63/218: Park/Washington and 5th/Washington, each direction sharing a block
End 57: Lincoln St/Airline Hwy at Logan
End 58: 27th (University) at Main
End 281: 7th at Franklin

1967: 63 moved onto Sergeant Road and Mullan/1st pair of bridges. It shares about 4 blocks of surface streets with 218. The piece of San Marnan Drive between Sergeant and 4th becomes an extension of 412.
January 1, 1969: IA 58 truncated to Hudson; paved two-lane road running south from San Marnan to IA 8 becomes an extension of IA 21
ca. 1969-70: 218/412 intersection moved southward from Ridgeway Avenue to current San Marnan/La Porte Road intersection, likely concurrent with construction for Crossroads Mall
1969: 27th, Waterloo, Falls, Headford (route of US 218) becomes University Avenue; 218 moves from 4th to 6th in Cedar Falls
1970-71: University widened to 6 lanes ("University Fix-Up Project Mulled," Waterloo Courier, April 26, 2006)
Before 1972: 63 shifted slightly east of Logan between Parker and Franklin streets north of 20
1973: 20/57 moved south onto four-lane extension of West 1st St and new Broadway; short Diagonal Street connecting Airline Hwy with new Broadway is nearly an abandoned road today.

US 20, W-E: W 1st St, Broadway, Franklin St, Dubuque Rd
US 63, N-S: Logan Ave, Mullan Ave, Mullan Ave (NB)/1st St (SB), University Ave, Sergeant Rd
US 218, N-S: Center/Franklin St, 6th St, Main St, University Ave, Washington St, La Porte Rd

Jct. 20/63: Franklin/Mullan (NB) and Franklin/1st (SB)
Jct. 63/218: Sergeant/University to Univ-Wash-Mullan intersection (shared a few blocks, NB split where University becomes Washington)
End 57: Airline Hwy at Logan
End 58: University at Main
End 281: 7th at Franklin

1978-81: I-380 drawn in as dashed line through Waterloo all the way up to George Wyth State Park; built as US 218 decade later
1980: 57 segment along Airline Highway decommissioned, end becomes Hudson at 1st in Cedar Falls; 281 segment in Waterloo decommissioned
1983/1984: 412 turned over to city while westernmost part is torn up to make room for 63/20 interchange
1984: 281 sent due south from Dunkerton; restored to city limits in 1988. May have been concurrent with new freeway opening in August.
August 9, 1984: New freeway for 20 opens between IA 297 and IA 21, but 20 itself only moves onto it east of new 218 and I-380. US 218 moves onto new freeway between Mitchell Avenue (with I-380) and Shaulis Road; old route remains La Porte Road west of new freeway but becomes part of Texas Street on the east side.
December 7, 1984: Freeway opens between US 63 and IA 21, not signed as part of 20
June 14, 1986: New 20 freeway opens between the Grundy County line and US 63; 20 and 57 swap routes in Cedar Falls; Dubuque Road and University Avenue segments turned over to cities and county
1987: 58 truncated to interchange with 20

US 20, W-E: Freeway, with I-380 east of 218; interchanges at IA 58, Butterfield Rd, US 63, IA 21, I-380/US 218
US 63, N-S: Logan Ave, Mullan Ave, Mullan Ave (NB)/1st St (SB), University Ave, Sergeant Rd
US 218, N-S: N-S: Center/Franklin St, 6th St, Main St, University Ave, Washington St, freeway

Jct. 20/63: Interchange
Jct. 63/218: Sergeant/University to Univ-Wash-Mullan intersection (shared a few blocks, NB split where University becomes Washington)
End 57: Franklin at Mullan
End 58: Interchange, slightly east of original Hudson Road

1988: 281 brought back to east city limits of Waterloo
October 1989: 218 realigned between 57 intersection and Greenhill Road; 218 uses new freeway, Greenhill, and University while 57 ends at Main in Cedar Falls. Rest of 57 east of airport, which was old 20, turned over to city (though not necessarily at same time).
November 21, 1991: New six-lane expressway for 218 opens between 63 and Mitchell Avenue, with stoplights; northbound 218 open on elevated section in downtown
November 12, 1992: Final part of new 218 in Waterloo opens, with new interchanges at Ansborough/Fletcher avenues and 63, completely taking it off University. Traffic going from 63 to southbound 218 must use a surface road that parallels the elevated expressway.
1993: New four-lane extension of 58 opens between 20 and University Avenue with stoplights at Ridgeway Avenue, Viking Road, and Greenhill Road. In the next decade this road and these intersections would become points of contention, development, and quite a few deaths.
July 21, 1995: Final part of new 58 between University Avenue and new 218/57 interchange opens; 218 moves onto new four-lane from that interchange northward; 57 extended along 1st St to new interchange
Late 1990s: Exit numbers added on US 20 freeway

US 20, W-E: Freeway, with I-380 east of 218; interchanges at IA 58 S, IA 58 N, US 63, IA 21, I-380/US 218
US 63, N-S: Logan Ave, Mullan Ave, Mullan Ave (NB)/1st St (SB), 'frontage' roads at US 218 interchange, Sergeant Rd
US 218, N-S: Freeway/expressway; interchanges at IA 57/IA 58, Broadway, Ansborough/Fletcher, Greenhill, US 63, Washington Ave

Jct. 20/63: Interchange
Jct. 63/218: Interchange spanning area from University/Sergeant intersection to Mullan
End 57: Interchange with IA 58 and US 218
End 58: Interchange with IA 57 and US 218

March 1998: DOT takes much of University Avenue back with little fanfare, creating secret IA 934
September 2001: IA 27 added along 218, 58, and 20
July 1, 2003: IA 297 decommissioned
2004: IA 27 mile markers replace 58's mile markers along four-lane route
2005: IA 57 five-laned (four with turning lane) west of Hudson Road

2006: Ansborough Avenue exit opens on US 20
2013: IA 58's south end rebuilt in Hudson
July 1, 2014: Portion of IA 934 in Cedar Falls turned over

What if?

This map shows what might have happened if the Avenue of the Saints had been included in the original interstate system and followed US 63 north of Waterloo instead of US 218, and also if a four-lane US 20 had been part of, say, the 1968 addition to the Interstate Highway System. I believe that many of the four-lane roads built in the 1980s and 1990s would still exist, in the Waterloo area, but in slightly modified forms.

Maps on this page © Jeff Morrison 2005-07

Page created 2/18/05; last updated 1/16/15

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