> Projects > Completed Projects > I-80/I-29 Dual, Divided Freeway

I-80/I-29 Dual, DIvided Freeway

I-80/I-29 Dual, Divided Freeway

Project Location

Council Bluffs, IA

Project Description

The Council Bluffs Interstate System was originally constructed in the 1960s. Although routine maintenance projects were completed, significant changes had not been made since its original construction. When studies began on the interstate reconstruction, the Council Bluffs Interstate System typically carried 20,000–75,000 vehicles; 11–25% of those are trucks. By 2030, traffic on I-80 between the I-29 interchanges is expected to increase by more than 130,000 vehicles a day. This increase in traffic, coupled with an outdated design standard, is what drove system improvements.

During evaluation of highway design alternatives, it was determined that a dual, divided freeway should be constructed along the overlapping section of I-80/I-29 between the West System Interchange and East System Interchange. This design physically separates through traffic on I-80 from local traffic on I-29 destined for Council Bluffs, creating I-80 Express lanes and I-29/I-80 Local lanes. This is accomplished by constructing four separate roadways (two roadways for traffic in each direction). Each roadway is separated by a concrete median barrier.

Benefits of a dual, divided freeway

  • Offers redundancy and allows traffic to keep moving in both directions, even if lanes are blocked because of a crash or maintenance.
  • Improves roadway safety and will reduce the number of crashes caused by merging traffic between tightly spaced interchanges.
  • Eases congestion, especially during peak or rush hours by separating through traffic on I-80 (traffic not stopping in Council Bluffs) from local traffic destined for Council Bluffs.
  • Accommodates projected traffic growth and planned development in the area.

Video animation 

In July 2021 the final portions of dual, divided freeway opened and marked the completion of the project. The video below explains the  benefits of the I-80/I-29 Dual, Divided Freeway within the Council Bluffs Interstate System.



  • On March 27, 2019 the westbound/northbound portion of the dual, divided freeway opened. This video explains how to use this new freeway.
  • A video showing how the dual, divided freeway will work was presented during an October 2005 public meeting.
Project Map
Project Map

Project Schedule

Phase Ia Construction: 07/2013 – 06/2015
(I-29NB/I-80WB Local lanes from Indian Creek to the West System Interchange)
Phase Ib Construction: 11/2013 – 07/2015
(I-29NB/I-80WB Local on-ramp at South Expressway and lanes to Indian Creek)
Phase II Construction: 01/2017 – 01/2019
(I-80EB Express lanes from the Missouri River Bridge to Indian Creek; and I-29SB/I-80EB Local lanes from the West System Interchange to Indian Creek)
Phase III Construction: 08/2019 – 06/2021
(I-29SB/I-80EB Local lanes from Indian Creek to the East System Interchange)

Recognition & Awards


  • American Society of Civil Engineers – Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Honor Award
  • American Infrastructure Magazine – Penninsula Publishing's Pubby Award for Road Project of the Year


  • Engineering News-Record Merit Award – Highway/Bridge Category
  • American Council of Engineering Companies –
    • National Recognition Award
    • Iowa Grand Conceptor and Grand Place Awards
    • Nebraska Honor Award


  • Roads & Bridges #4 Road

PROJECT gallery

[Click each thumbnail for larger image]

project references

Project Name: I-80/I-29 Dual, Divided Freeway
Project Number(s): Bridge IM-NHS-80-1(396)2--03-78; Grade & Pave IM-NHS-80-1(374)4--03-78; Grade & Pave IM-NHS-80-1(364)3--03-78; Bridge IM-NHS-80-1(309)2--03-78; Bridge IM-NHS-80-1(388)2--03-78; Grade & Pave IM-NHS-80-1(367)2--03-78; Grade & Pave IM-NHS-80-1(385)0--03-78

Additional resources


Login  |  ©  Iowa Department of Transportation.  All rights reserved.