Marion is Open for Business         Roundabout Project Report

Marion is open for business during the construction of three roundabout intersections which will improve traffic flow and increase the safety of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians throughout the city. Marion currently has two existing roundabouts along the Tower Terrace Road corridor. Tower Terrace Road and 35th Street completed in 2010 and Tower Terrace Road and Alburnett Road, completed in 2012.

The three new roundabout intersections include 29th Avenue and 35th Street, a mini roundabout that was recently completed. 7th Avenue and 7th Street, currently under construction, and 26th Street to 31st Street; which will be built by end of 2016 (weather and utility dependent), on the existing Marion Iron location as a part of the new section of 6th Avenue that runs from 13th Street to 31st Street.

The 7th Avenue and 7th Street roundabout has affected the businesses in the midst of the project, and they want the community to know that they are doing business as usual; and would appreciate your support during construction.

“There is no question that road construction makes doing business challenging. A well-built transportation system makes our city move. Improved city infrastructure including street improvements, safety enhancements and improved water and wastewater systems are necessary as the community continues to grow. The chamber supports the City of Marion’s efforts in keeping up with city infrastructure as it is critical to creating a strong business environment. A thriving economy provides opportunities and long-term stability for Marion and the region.”
Jill Ackerman, President, Marion Chamber of Commerce

Why roundabouts? Because they are a great way to keep traffic moving and significantly improve safety. Compared to a four-way stop, for example, where everyone has to stop and wait their turn, a roundabout allows motorists, in most cases, to enter the intersection and exit without stopping. Roundabouts are also a less expensive option, as there are no traffic signals to maintain or repair.

According to the City of Marion website,, the roundabouts are just one piece of the Marion Central Corridor Project. This is a capital improvement project which means that the City of Marion has plans to invest in public improvements. These include pavement, sewers, sidewalks, trails and street-scaping. This investment will also improve safety and quality of roadways. The goal is to create an environment that spurs private redevelopment. A revitalized Central Corridor will solidify Marion’s place as a regional hub for business, urban-living, and entertainment. Together, these and additional features will position Marion as an independent and self-sustaining regional destination.

“These roundabout projects are part of the larger Central Corridor Project, this will implement a long-term traffic management plan for Marion’s core, balancing traffic between 6th and 7th Avenues and creating a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere in Uptown Marion.” Mike Barkalow, Assistant City Engineer

The strategic planning has been in progress within the Central Corridor since 2009 when the Central Corridor Master Plan was approved. Marion has since adopted the Uptown Streetscape Plan and the West End Master Plan. This is a result of many hours of collaboration by businesses, land owners, citizens and city staff members.

When Marion decided to put the Central Corridor Project in place, they planned to complete it in phases. The first phase was completed in 2012 with the reconstruction of 6th Avenue from 8th Street to 13th Street, and improvements including a multi-use path, pedestrian accommodation and street-scaping. Storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water main upgrades also took place.

Phase two, on the west end of the corridor, encompasses the roundabout at the intersection of 7th Avenue and 7th Street. The city was awarded a one million dollar grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Clean Air Attainment Program for the installation of the roundabout. As you will see if you drive through 7th Avenue in Marion, this project is in full swing and should be completed by the end of the 2016 construction season, (weather and utility dependent).

More specific details on the Central Corridor Project can be found at, under the Engineering department tab.
7th and 7th Construction updates:
26th to 31st Construction updates:
If you have questions, please contact Mike Barkalow at or 319.743.6340.

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