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Release: Immediate

UI offers travel and parking tips for Hawkeye football fans

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fans traveling to Iowa City for University of Iowa football games will again face the prospect of possible delays due to road construction.

Fans approaching Iowa City from the west on Interstate 80 may be slowed for construction areas near Williamsburg, where traffic is down to one lane in each direction for about six miles. Roadwork is also continuing just east of the I-80 interchange with I-380 near Coralville.

Those coming from the east on I-80 may face minor delays in two areas: between I-80 interchanges with U.S. 61 and I-74 in north Davenport, and near the Stockton interchange in western Scott County.

Fortunately, road and bridge work on Melrose Avenue near Kinnick Stadium should be completed by the time of this season's opening game, Sept. 6, with the University of Northern Iowa.

Charles Green, UI public safety director, offers these tips for getting into Iowa City:

* I-80 westbound, use exits 244 (Dubuque Street) or 246 (Dodge Street). After the first two games, fans should avoid the Dubuque Street exit because of road work scheduled to start Sept. 15.

* I-80 eastbound, use Highway 218 South or exit 242 (First Avenue in Coralville). Motorists should avoid exit 240 (Highway 965) because of road construction work in that area.

* If you are traveling to Iowa City from the south on Highway 218, you can use either the Riverside Drive exit or the Melrose Avenue exit. Those who exit at Riverside Drive should proceed north to Grand Avenue, which leads past the UI Field House and to Melrose Avenue on the east side of Kinnick Stadium.

* Follow DOT "Football Stadium Exit" signs along all routes.

Fans can avoid the congested traffic near the stadium by parking at any of three municipal parking ramps in downtown Iowa City or parking on the east side of Iowa City and using municipal buses to reach downtown. There is a fee of 75 cents per person for Iowa City buses.

Beginning 90 minutes before gametime, free UI Cambus service will shuttle fans from the downtown Pentacrest and from Hancher Auditorium parking lots to the stadium area, starting two hours before the game. The return pickup point is at the bus loop located north of the UI Hospital School on Newton Road.

UI parking areas will be open at 7 a.m. and traffic control will continue for two hours after the game, Green says. Beer trucks, kegs and open bars are not permitted in any UI parking areas. Amplified sound, cooking fires and grills are not permitted in UI parking ramps.

Here's a list of parking places available on university-owned property:

* Free parking for autos is available at Hancher Auditorium (Park Road and North Riverside), the UI Softball Complex (Mormon Trek Road and U.S. 6), and at the university-owned parking lot south of Burlington Street at Madison and Prentiss streets (behind the building housing the Johnson County Jail and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office).

* There will be a $5 charge for automobiles to park at the Finkbine Golf Course on Melrose Avenue. Golf course parking is subject to weather conditions.

* Recreational vehicles may park at the Finkbine commuter parking lot on Hawkins Drive. There is a $10 charge for RV parking.

* Public parking is permitted at the UI Main Library lot on football Saturdays. The charge is 40 cents per hour.

* Public parking is also available at the IMU Parking Ramp and the North Campus Parking Ramp. The charge for those ramps is 60 cents per hour.

* Parking for people with disabilities will be reserved in Hospital Ramp II until 30 minutes before kickoff. The charge for UI ramp parking near the stadium is $5 per vehicle.

* There is space for 2,000 cars in UI surface lots near the stadium, weather permitting. The charge is $5 per vehicle.

The pedestrian passageway through UI Hospitals and Clinics will be closed to football fans. For safety reasons, the street north of Kinnick Stadium will be closed to vehicles when pre-game pedestrian traffic becomes heavy.