Officials from Iowa and Nebraska will gather on a new bridge spanning the Missouri River this morning to cut the ribbon for its grand opening, linking Omaha and Council Bluffs. Karl Burns, an engineer with the Nebraska Department of Roads, says this is a rare event to debut such an impressive structure and he knows motorists from both states will be pleased.
The new bridge has four lanes instead of the old two-lane bridge, Burns says, “so it will be a nice new structure for them.” The new 88-million dollar bridge replaces the original Veterans Memorial Bridge, which opened in 1936. It was torn down last summer. Burns says bicyclists and walkers were taken into account in this new bridge design.
Burns says, “We have a bike/walkway for pedestrians to cross the bridge, which will be nice.” The original bridge was demolished nine months ago and he notes, motorists have had to use a variety of different detours during that time.
Burns says, “If there was anybody who used it on a daily basis or a weekly basis, I’m sure those individuals look forward to having it open.” The bridge will tie into a new four-lane stretch of Highway 275 on the Iowa side. The ribbon cutting ceremony is at 9:30 AM.