The interstate system in Council Bluffs was built largely in the 1960s. It carries 75,000 vehicles a day but was designed for half that amount. By 2030, traffic is estimated to climb to more than 120,000 vehicles a day.
The Iowa Transportation Commission and DOT recognizes that the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program is the largest interstate highway funding effort in the state’s history. To successfully implement this Program, the Iowa DOT will look for all opportunities to effectively and efficiently turn this significant commitment of resources into successfully implemented highway improvement projects.
Iowa DOT's new approach applies public and contractor feedback in multiple ways to result in a better interstate system - more quickly and with fewer impacts to the traveling public.
Individual projects are being strategically grouped and completed to maximize improvements to the system while simultaneously minimizing the impacts of construction to Council Bluffs residents and the traveling public.
Reconstruction of the West System Interchange will provide for efficient and safe vehicle movement on both I-29 and I-80 systems. An increase in the number of travel lanes and separation for both I-80 and I-29 will allow motorists to reduce the number of lane changes needed between I-80 and I-29.
The project includes full reconstruction of the system to system interchange, providing full access from I-80 and I-29 to the I-80 express lanes and the I-80/I-29 local lanes in the dual, divided freeway.
The Program Launch meeting was held in January 2014 and a meeting for the I-29 & U.S. 275/IA 92 Construction project was held in March 2014.
The Program hosted booths at Farmer’s Market’s, Celebrate CB, LoessFest, Westfair, and Iowa League of Cities in 2014 to provide the public information about the Program.
The Program responded to several requests to speak at civic group meetings and other venues to inform interested stakeholders of the Program and answer their questions.
Construction projects are prioritized based on the highest volume of vehicles and benefits in terms of traffic management, improved safety and increased vehicle capacity in the urban area of the interstate system.
Future projects include construction on I-29 north of the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge to a point just west of 25th Street. Currently, the plans for this project include the I-29/I-480/West Broadway system interchange and interchanges at 41st Street, Avenue G, Ninth Avenue and 35th Street. Two concepts are under consideration for these project improvements. Both concepts provide direct access to West Broadway from I-29 via one-way frontage roads as determined in the Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement.
Another future project addressed in the Tier 1 Final EIS is extending I-80 improvements northeast of the Madison Avenue interchange to east of the U.S. 6/Kanesville Boulevard interchange.
The Railroad Relocation project consolidates the CBEC and BNSF railroad operations into a new common corridor west of Mosquito Creek under I-29 and Iowa 92.
This will improve operations at the South Expressway interchange and greatly reduce roadway/railway conflicts by consolidating railroad corridors and eliminating numerous at-grade rail crossings and the CBEC corridor that bisects Lewis Central High School. Improved railroad operations will allow select BNSF trains to bypass Council Bluffs.