The city of Council Bluffs is sitting in a very unique position, according to Mayor Tom Hanafan. Mayor Hanafan says, “We live in the largest metropolitan area in the state of Iowa and the largest metropolitan area in the state of Nebraska.”
While Omaha continues to draw conventions, Hanafan says the same thing is happening in Council Bluffs. He says the reason some groups choose Council Bluffs instead of Omaha is because they are strictly Iowa-based, like the State Bowling Tournament.
“It’s 15 weeks,” the mayor says, “and that brings people from all over the state of Iowa that will come to our community and you wouldn’t have that in Omaha.” A long-term expansion of the Council Bluffs freeway system is in the works. Hanafan says the upgrade is needed as the current interstate system was drawn up many years ago and can’t handle the significant upturn in traffic.
“The design of our interstate system is for about 60,000 cars a day on I-80 and 29,” Hanafan says. “The new build-out is for 145,000 cars.”
Hanafan says the roadways are now taking about 100,000 cars a day. He says they will need $175,000 per year for six years to complete the project. Hanafan is starting his second-quarter century as mayor of Council Bluffs.
By Karla James