Council Bluffs drivers may find slowdowns on the Broadway viaduct over the next couple of weeks. Lanes will be restricted intermittently, while a massive $1-million art installation goes up.
An eastbound lane was already blocked off before rush hour Tuesday. The most visible work was set to begin at 9 a.m. And overnight, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the entire viaduct is slated for closure. Slowdowns should be expected in the area, off and on, until September 21st, when the installation is scheduled to be complete.
The initial orange and yellow spikes have been visible for a while now to drivers like Christine McCullem. "When they were first putting stuff up there, I thought it was kind of hideous. But now, I kind of see that, the artwork,” she said, looking at a picture of the artist’s vision.
Ed Carpenter, of Portland, Oregon, tried to capture the “radiant imagery,” of the sunrise and sunset, he said of the project.
“I can see the rays of the sun coming out from the poles," said Kathy Allen of Council Bluffs.
Jim Kelley said, "Yeah, I like it. It brings a little color to the downtown entrance."
And Brittany Allen agreed. “I think it's really neat, just with the lighting and everything. I think it will really draw attention.”
Ten-year-old Jennifer Magil added, "I think it's really cool and I think people will really love it."
The color, applied by Omaha company W.S. Bunch, per the artist's instructions, seems to be the "make it or break it" for many. Dallas Magil, 14, said he already thinks it’s an improvement over the 24th Street corridor project, “Odyssey,” installed two years ago. "I think it's better because you actually know what it actually is."
Said driver, Frank Cates, “[At least] it doesn't look like someone tore a bunch of metal off a building [that somebody] just threw it on something."
Allen said that installation is not so fondly referred to by many locals as, “the Edward Scissorhands sculpture. “So, I kind of like this one,” she said, looking at the Gateway picture.
Still, Cates said, “[Gateway] is not exactly what I call art. But then again, that's just me."
Mccullem doesn’t think it’s worth the $1-million that Iowa West paid, and Kelley agreed. “I think there could be some street improvements that could go a lot further on a million dollars. But you've got to do what you've gotta do."
But Kathy Allen thinks what the foundation is doing -- is making a wonderful investment in Council Bluffs. “I think we need to have things that are beautiful in our life."