Construction is underway on a five-part interstate reconstruction project in southwest Iowa, one of the largest-ever projects for the Iowa Department of Transportation. It will rebuild and modernize Interstates 29, 80 and 480 through Council Bluffs.
DOT engineer Troy Jerman says the project includes new off and on-ramps, bridges, a combined railroad corridor, and a dual-divided highway system with express lanes. “If you’re on I-80 and you’re traveling cross-country and you don’t want to have to get in those outside lanes, you’ll avoid those weaving movements, it’ll be more free-flow through the area,” Jerman says. “Now, if you want to stop in the community, you’ll be in the outside lanes so you can access the interchanges.”
Drivers can expect construction delays in the area for the next decade. Jerman says $444-million is allocated for interstate reconstruction through 2018. The final two segments of the project are scheduled for completion by 2023 at a cost of $750-million. The final price tag, Jerman says, is a staggering $2-billion. “Across the state, a lot of people look at the I-235 reconstruction in Des Moines as one of our big undertakings. So perspective, that was about 440-million dollars to reconstruct that. So for this project, we have that much in the five-year program now, and the full build is two-billion dollars, so it is rather large.”
Plans for the final two segments aren’t finalized yet, as the DOT only approves projects for five years at a time. Learn more at the website: www.councilbluffsinterstate.iowadot.gov