NDOT starts I-480 construction project

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 5:54 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Drivers coming out of Council Bluffs and into Omaha are going to start seeing a lot more construction signs on the I-480 bridge as the Nebraska Department of Transportation kicks off a $40 million dollar project for repairs and maintenance.

As soon as westbound drivers cross the river they’ll see several signs alerting them to merge left. That’s because NDOT is working on the right side to set up a temporary lane.

Now the project started Monday but Mother Nature is already causing a delay.

Rich Zelensky, NDOT Highway Project Manager says, “We need dry pavement in order to put the lane lines down. Because once we put them down, we want to make sure they stay.”

By Thursday or Friday, they hope to have that lane clearly marked and will close the left two lanes to start official work on the bridge deck. First up is potholes.

“And we’re going to be putting a membrane over the top of the repairs after we’re done, and lay three inches of asphalt on top of it,” said Zelensky.

While working on the top of the bridge, they’ll also be working under the bridge. At times they’ll even have to lift the bridge by just about an inch or so to do work to piers and expansion joints.

Expansion joints allow the bridge a little flex during changing weather but road treatment during the winter can cause some corrosion. So luckily they’re fixing that now while it’s still safe.

“It’s all cosmetic now. We’re going to fix the bad areas and get it back to where they look cosmetically good along with the structural part of it,” said Zelensky.

The project is expected to last about two and a half years but the work that they’re doing now could extend the life of the bridge by up to twenty to forty years.

Iowa is beginning its own repairs on its side of the bridge. The state is rebuilding the I-29/I-480 West Broadway interchange.

Map of I-480 Bridges, 20 St – Missouri River
Map of I-480 Bridges, 20 St – Missouri River(PHOTO: Nebraska Department of Transportation)

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