Omaha Public Radio News
1:24 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Council Bluffs officials: look at future needs when rebuilding Interstates

Omaha, NE – Western Iowa representatives want the reconstruction and expansion of I-29 to be a top priority of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan and Chamber of Commerce officials were among the speakers at an IDOT public meeting Tuesday morning. I-29 south of Council Bluffs reopened last weekend, four months after Missouri River flooding shut it down.

Mayor Hanafan says the reconstruction of I-29 following Missouri River flooding should also account for future growth. "We're in the rebuilding process, and part of that is how are we going to rebuild our community to make sure we get done what we have to do, but also to build to the future. Obviously, we've always said the most important thing we have is our transportation."

Chamber of Commerce president Bob Mundt says 17 miles of Interstate run through the city. He says Council Bluffs has seen significant economic growth, particularly near the Interstate corridors.

Council Bluffs Public Works Director Greg Reeder says peak-hour traffic is up 20 percent in the past three years. He says projections show that in the next 15 to 20 years, the amount of traffic on the Interstate will be three-times what it was designed for.

Other groups spoke in favor of the Highway 34 bridge project, and a U.S. Highway 30 bypass around Missouri Valley.