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WATERLOO — The Salvation Army of Waterloo/Cedar Falls, at the corner of Franklin and Mullan streets in Waterloo, is asking the public not to use its parking lot as a cut-through during the reconstruction of U.S. Highway 63 in downtown Waterloo.

Officials have seen an increase in high-speed traffic in the parking lots due to street closures related to the Highway 63 reconstruction.

The Salvation Army said it has a high volume of traffic in and out of the parking lots along Franklin Street and Logan Avenue. Added construction traffic already has created unsafe situations in the lots during the first few days of this two-year construction project.

“We have many people who access our building on foot or by bicycle, as well as by car. Our parking lots are relatively small, and with additional vehicles using our lots as detours we have had many near misses already,” said Major Harold Poff, commanding officer.

The problem, along with the added traffic, is the speed at which vehicles are traveling through lots.

“We’ve had people going 20 or 30 mph through our lot,” said Poff. “Add in a blind corner and many adults and children on foot or bike, and it’s a recipe for disaster.”

The Salvation Army has gates at its parking lot that typically remain open to assist emergency professionals and first responders. It will be closing these gates at 3 p.m. each day until further notice to ensure a safe environment for youths enrolled in The Salvation Army Youth Center, an after-school program for children ages 6-18.

“We understand the construction means a detour that adds extra time to your trip. For the safety of our program participants, children, volunteers, and staff, please follow the detours as they are posted,” Poff said.

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