Council Bluffs’ Mayor advises caution, patience as interstate project progresses

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 4:15 PM CST
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - Driving in, out, and around Council Bluffs will take on a new look for drivers.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has shut down a portion of Interstate 29 between 9th Ave. and Avenue G as part of the Council Bluffs Interstate Improvement Program.

The best advice - slow down and pay attention.

“Be cautious because you may know where you’re going, other drivers may not know where they’re going,” said Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh. “We just were talking earlier and many times I have gotten on the interstate and some new portion has opened up or some new portion has been temporarily closed and I end up invariably making the wrong decision... the interstate is not the place to make quick decisions so you want to slow down and look around.”

Mayor Walsh says this is an IDOT project that was paid for with road-use tax money and federal transportation dollars.

With the new closures, there is a connector road for northbound traffic, from 9th Ave. to Avenue G, that is open but the speed limit is only 35 miles per hour.

“I think people have been very pleasantly surprised, there’s been very little disruption in their daily travel plans during the construction but that’s come to an end as of today for many,” said Mayor Walsh.

As for closings?

“They will be closing from 9th Ave. to Avenue G on the interstate going north or turning west to 480 to go to downtown Omaha and they’re estimating that closure for 21 months, so almost two years it will be closed,” Walsh said.

However, the construction project is nothing new - it’s been going on for years.

“I think it may have started around 2005 and initially estimated to be completed in 2013,” said Walsh. “So here we are in 2021 and it’s still going on.”

Mayor Walsh explained that historic flooding in the area definitely slowed the construction of the project.

He says there will be signs to guide drivers through the construction areas and all of the changes. Walsh encourages drivers to slow down and beware of where you and other drivers are going.

Council Bluffs officials tell 6 News that the interstate improvement project will modernize the highway system and improve safety.

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