Iowa Department of Tranasportation is in the process of reconstructing I-80, I-29 and I-480 in the Council Bluffs/Omaha metropolitan area. This comprehensive interstate redesign, known as the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program, will modernize the highway system and improve mobility and safety in the area.
Iowa DOT is committed to completing interstate improvements with minimal inconvenience to the public and keeping the traveling public informed of project impacts in a timely and accurate manner.
The new East System Interchange opened ahead of schedule in October 2017.
New I-29 southbound flyover ramp from I-80 westbound.
New I-80 westbound lanes in the East System Interchange.
Construction progressed steadily throughout the year.
Modernize 18 miles of interstate
Accommodate planned development along the corridors
Reduce traffic congestion
Improve the visual landscape
centerline miles (measures the total length of a road from its starting point to its end point)
lane miles (measures the total length and lane count of a road)
2017 Projects Under Construction or Design by Iowa DOT
Construction projects below were prioritized based on the highest volume of vehicles and benefits to traffic management, improved safety and increased vehicle capacity in the urban areas of the interstate system. Several future projects will be necessary to satisfy the overall Program goals.
Click the numbered dots on the map for project information.
After nearly two years of construction, Phase II of the East System Interchange was substantially completed in fall 2017, ahead of schedule. Construction crews were able to accomplish early completion through an accelerated schedule and collaboration between multiple contractors and Program staff.
Construction of this interchange, which began in late 2015, had many complexities and required coordination with the City, railroads, businesses, residents, motorists and other stakeholders. The project included five bridges totaling over 8,800 feet in length and opened to traffic in October 2017. The new interchange design improves safety and alleviates congestion.
Program staff kept the public informed about construction impacts and partnered with local schools, churches and businesses to share information about detours and closures.
The new East System Interchange features right hand exits and has reduced congestion.
Iowa DOT is not only improving roads and bridges around Council Bluffs, but is also adding technology to improve traffic flow, respond quickly to changing traffic conditions and improve customer satisfaction.
Over the next six years, this technology will be added to the interstate system to allow Iowa DOT to monitor traffic conditions and deploy timely traffic information to the traveling public.
14 new dynamic message signs
Nearly 6 miles of fiber optic cable
A key goal of the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program is to reduce traffic congestion on the interstate in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area. I-80 westbound and I-29 southbound previously experienced congestion almost daily during morning and afternoon commutes. Opening the new East System Interchange has added capacity and reduced congestion and delays during peak travel times.
What causes congestion in Iowa?
Iowa DOT is committed to completing the interstate improvements with minimal inconvenience to the public and keeping the traveling public informed of project impacts in a timely and accurate manner.
When a presentation was made at the public meetings this year, social media followers could also attend via Facebook Live.
4 STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS
Program meetings were held with elected officials, local businesses, stakeholders and the general public during 2017. This included a pre-construction season meeting held in April, a public hearing on the I-29/I-480/West Broadway Interchange in August, and a right-of-way public meeting in November.
As part of the Program’s community outreach, staff attended Celebrate CB at Bayliss Park in May.
3 BUSINESS OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES
Because the Program has had multiple exit ramp impacts and traffic shifts, expanded outreach efforts notified businesses near impacted areas well in advance of changes. Iowa DOT strives to minimize construction impacts on travel and businesses.
275 Businesses Reached
VIRTUAL RIBBON CUTTING
Iowa DOT celebrated the opening of the I-80 westbound and I-29 southbound ramps on Oct. 20, 2017. The team put together a short video as an alternative to a formal presentation and ribbon cutting that was used on social media to announce the opening and demonstrate new traffic movements. Video was captured by a vehicle-mounted GoPro camera and drone footage from the Council Bluffs Police Department was also incorporated. When possible, the Council Bluffs Interstate Improvement Program celebrates Program success and demonstrates the completion of major project milestones.
2017 Online Engagement
356 New Followers in 2017
722 Total Followers
135 New Followers in 2017
495 Total Followers
6% Growth in 2017
36 Traffic Alert Emails Sent to Emergency Responders
The Iowa Transportation Commission and DOT recognizes that the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program is the largest interstate funding effort in the state’s history. The Program is currently on schedule and on budget. The Iowa DOT continues to look for opportunities to effectively and efficiently manage the successful delivery of highway improvement projects.
DOLLARS ALLOCATED PER YEAR
STATUS THROUGH DECEMBER 2017
LONG TERM STRATEGY
Program construction started in 2008 and is expected to continue through 2024. Approximately 60% of Program construction has been completed. Numerous projects will be constructed to complete the Program vision. Individual projects are being grouped strategically to maximize improvements while minimizing construction impacts to Council Bluffs residents and the traveling public.
Highway Improvement Projects
Click the dots below to view the project information.
Union Pacific Railroad Bridge
Nebraska Ave Interchange
I-80/I-29 Dual, Divided Freeway - Phase II
I-80 24th St to 13th St
East System Interchange - Phase IIb
Madison Avenue Interchange
I-80/I-29 Dual, Divided Freeway - Phase III
East System Interchange - Phase II
East System Interchange - Phase IIa
North Section of I-80 & U.S. 6 Interchange
click on image to enlarge
The Program is currently on schedule and on budget. The Iowa DOT continues to look for opportunities to effectively and efficiently manage the successful delivery of highway improvement projects.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program has been active since 2008. Statistics on this page give a snapshot of the magnitude of work completed in 2017.
Rollover the blue dots below to see a snapshot of the magnitude of work completed in 2017.
Full construction of the of the East System Interchange will be completed in fall 2020.
Construction projects are prioritized based on the highest volume of vehicles and benefits to traffic management, improved safety and increased vehicle capacity in the urban area of the interstate system.
I-29/I-480 WEST BROADWAY INTERCHANGE PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE
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.
In 2017, Iowa DOT presented the preferred alternative and the Environmental Assessment for proposed improvements of the I-29/I-480/West Broadway Interchange in Council Bluffs, from just north of the Union Pacific Railroad crossing to just south of the 25th Street interchange. The proposed project is currently funded in the 2018–2022 Transportation Improvement Program under the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program. The total funded amount for construction is $238 million. Environmental studies were completed and a Finding of No Significant Impact was issued by Federal Highway Administration in the fall. The proposed project has now moved to the final design phase.
As part of proposed improvements, additional right-of-way will be required. Right-of-way acquisition began in 2017 and must be complete before the project begins in 2020.
Potentially displaced property owners were assigned a relocation advisor to provide relocation assistance. This typically occurs during early stages of the appraisal process and continues until residents become established at a new location.
For more information on the right-of-way process, please refer to this video.
Sarah Opal is one homeowner selling her home to the state.
We had a gentleman come and appraise it and take pictures. Then we had some DOT people come in and talk with us about the acquisition. Hopefully, within the next six months we’ll be moved into a new home.
Opal said the state is giving her a fair price for her home.
Source: KETV Channel 7
Sometimes people think change isn’t good, but I think it’s good because it’s going to help the city.
Reconstruction of the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge is necessary to allow for future increased capacity on I-29. The existing bridge will be rebuilt from its existing five tracks to three tracks to improve local yard operations. The bridge design has been optimized so roadway grade does not need to be altered during construction. Coordination between the City, Union Pacific Railroad and Iowa DOT has resulted in a design that lengthens the bridge to allow River Road to be extended north of the railroad tracks in the future, and make important connections to local roads.
I-80/I-29 Dual, Divided Freeway Phase II
The dual, divided freeway will offer greater flexibility to travelers and will improve the overall efficiency of the transportation network. For example, it allows traffic to keep moving in both directions, even if lanes are closed because of a crash or maintenance. The dual, divided freeway allows through traffic to utilize both the express and local lanes, offering more lanes overall to travelers. Currently, weaving of through traffic and local traffic using the on and off ramps creates congestion, especially during peak traffic hours. The dual, divided freeway separates through traffic from local traffic, eliminating this source of delay.