Expect detours, delays during RAGBRAI stopover in Ames

RAGBRAI revelry on campus

Iowa State units are hosting public activities and events as part RAGBRAI's stop in Ames.

University Boulevard. South Dakota Avenue. Mortensen Road. Beach Avenue. South Fourth Street. Sixth Street. If any of these roads are part of your daily drive to work, you may be better off getting there by bike on July 24.

Thousands of riders will roll into Ames Tuesday for an overnight stay following day three of the 2018 Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). Bikers are expected to begin arriving by 10 a.m. and continue to pour into town throughout the day on Tuesday, with the heaviest traffic between noon and 4 p.m.

Drivers should plan ahead for closures, detours and delays in and around Ames most of Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. Maps with route details, events and official RAGBRAI locations are available on the Ames RAGBRAI website. A video released last week also illustrates the route and closures.

Tuesday influx

Some areas along Tuesday's RAGBRAI route will be accessible to local residents only. Access to the Ames/ISU Ice Arena and Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center also will be restricted. Cyride will announce temporary detours online. Commuter parking at the Iowa State Center will be limited to lots A1, B3, B4 and B5, and the transit stop will move to Center Drive (south of Stephens Auditorium).

Most July 24 road closures are anticipated to last from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the exception of South Fourth Street and Sixth Street. Closures include:

  • South Dakota Avenue/County Road R38 (from 270th Street to Mortensen Road)
  • Highway 30 off-ramp, westbound exit 144 (South Dakota Avenue)
  • Mortensen Road (from Pinon Drive to Hayward Avenue)
  • Beach Avenue, northbound only
  • South Fourth Street (from Beach Avenue to University Boulevard, 7 p.m. July 23 to 10 p.m. July 24)
  • Sixth Street (from University Boulevard to Brookridge Avenue, 6 a.m. July 24 to 11 a.m. July 25)

Vehicles may be stopped for bike traffic at these controlled intersections:

  • State Avenue/Mortensen Road
  • University Boulevard/South Fourth Street
  • University Boulevard/Lincoln Way
  • University Boulevard/Sixth Street

Support vehicles, vendors and visitors also will be headed to designated RAGBRAI locations. Watch for bikers, pedestrians and shuttles traveling to and from the welcome and parking areas (South Fourth Street, Iowa State Center lots), campgrounds (Brookside Park, Stuart Smith Park, grass fields/lots east and south of Jack Trice Stadium) and entertainment venues (Main Street).

Ames RAGBRAI information

Farewell route

On Wednesday, July 25, RAGBRAI riders will mount up and head east, most before 8 a.m. No streets or intersections will be closed, but drivers are encouraged to avoid the RAGBRAI route out of town. Vehicles may be stopped at controlled intersections to allow bicycle traffic to cross.

Roads to avoid, especially in the early morning hours:

  • University Boulevard (southbound, from Sixth Street to South 16th Street)
  • South 16th Street (eastbound, from University Boulevard to Dayton Avenue)
  • Dayton Avenue (northbound, from Southeast 16th Street to East Lincoln Way)

Vehicles may be stopped for bike traffic at these controlled intersections:

  • University Boulevard/Sixth Street
  • University Boulevard/Lincoln Way
  • University Boulevard/South Fourth Street
  • University Boulevard/South 16th Street
  • South 16th Street/Duff Avenue
  • Southeast 16th Street/Dayton Avenue
  • Dayton Avenue/East Lincoln Way