In May, the City of Johnston was awarded a $1,096,745 Iowa Department of Transportation grant towards planned City improvements at the Merle Hay Road and Johnston Drive intersection.
The grant was approved based on the economic impact that Ignit is expected to create through their 100,000+ out-of-state annual visitors. Intersection improvements include the extension of Johnston Drive west of Merle Hay Road, which will serve a planned City Park, the 200,000+ sq. ft. Ignit Sports & Fitness complex and Childserve.
In addition, the intersections, turn lanes and traffic signals will be reconfigured to provide improved pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow. Engineering design work on the intersection remains ongoing with anticipated construction on the west end of Johnston Drive to begin early 2022, subject to completing right of way acquisitions.
Earlier this year, Ignit acquired the former storage facility property at 5346 Merle Hay Road. Since then, they have completed demolition of the facility and significant grading work has begun before construction can officially begin.
These projects reflect significant steps towards realizing the City of Johnston’s 2014 Gateway Plan, which includes expanding recreation opportunities in the Gateway, redevelopment of several key properties, and eventual streetscaping improvements that will blend the Johnston Gateway and the Johnston Town Center.