Project OverviewToday - The interstate system in Council Bluffs typically carries 20,000-75,000 vehicles daily, with 11-25 percent of those vehicles being trucks. On some areas of I-80 more than twice the number of vehicles use it compared to the traffic volume estimate used during the original design. By 2030 traffic on I-80 between the I-29 interchanges is expected to increase to over 120,000 vehicles a day. Currently, traffic on I-29 north and south of I-80 averages 20,000 vehicles per day, and that number is expected to at least double by 2030.
History - The Council Bluffs interstate system was constructed in the 1960s and was developed to the design standards of the 1950s and 1960s. Although routine maintenance projects were completed in the 1980s and 1990s, significant changes have not been made to the Council Bluffs interstate system.
In 1997, the city of Council Bluffs and Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) conducted a study of the interstate system in Council Bluffs. This study, known as the Council Bluffs Interstate System Needs Study, showed that many of the interstate’s features do not meet current design standards, guidelines or operational criteria and do not provide adequate traffic capacity.
In 2002 the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) initiated the Council Bluffs Interstate System (CBIS) improvements project to address the issues raised by the 1997 Council Bluffs Interstate System Needs Study and develop solutions for improving the interstate system in the Council Bluffs metro area. The CBIS improvements project is a multi-year effort that will result in reconstruction of the majority of the Council Bluffs interstate system.
In 2006 the Iowa DOT constructed an interim project on the overlapping section of I-80/I-29 to add a third lane in the eastbound direction to ease some of the congestion that occurs when eastbound I-80 and southbound I-29 merge onto one roadway. This project is a short-term solution to these congestion problems. A long-term solution is being developed as part of the CBIS improvements project.
Study ApproachThe Council Bluffs Interstate System (CBIS) improvements project is being conducted in two tiers.
Tier 1 focused on the entire interstate system to identify the needs of the system and develop possible solutions (alternatives) to meet those needs. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared to document the system study. Due to the magnitude of the improvements, at the end of Tier 1 the interstate system was divided into segments for further study in Tier 2.
More information on Tier 1.
Tier 2 is focused on detailed engineering and environmental studies for each segment of the interstate system. During Tier 2 specific details about project design and property impacts will be determined, additional environmental documentation will be prepared and construction plans will be finalized. There will be additional opportunities for public input throughout Tier 2.