The Council Bluffs Interstate project is ramping up as spring approaches. Contractors are already hard at work on the $2 billion project.
Work began in 2008. It’s not scheduled to be complete until the 2020’s. But this construction season means even more changes to the massive interchange project that will eventually house Interstate 80 express lanes, along with local lanes, and Interstate 29.
‘It's changing constantly. You never know exactly what it’s going to be doing,” said Phil Warren.
He and his wife, Peggy, sat in the shadow of a giant dirt mound outside the Lake Manawa shopping center Tuesday. This summer marks the 8th year the Glenwood, Iowa couple has driven through the construction zones.
“The steel beams that drive down and have concrete on top, [workers] were driving those down and he building just shook,” Warren said, remembering back to a shopping day last season.
Work will once again speed up, as contractors tackle several of the project phases in 2016.
“It's the largest investment the department of transportation has ever made in the state of Iowa and it's happening in Council Bluffs. It's pretty exciting,” said Iowa Department of Transportation District Transportation Planner Scott Suhr said.
The construction is the exciting part for Suhr and his engineers. This year alone crews will relocate rail lines and work more on the west interchange near the border between Iowa and Nebraska. They will also build bridges and lanes on Interstate 80 to the east while working on lanes between the two construction zones. Work on Interstate 29 bridges and lanes will continue as well.
“We had a lot of left-hand access lanes we wanted to clean up. And there was no access to Broadway. So all these things will be taken into consideration with all the projects,” Suhr said.
The Iowa Department of Transportation wants you to learn more about the project. Click here for more information on a special March 24 meeting to discuss the current construction, and a proposed interchange system at West Broadway in Council Bluffs. You can also attend the meeting online.