Council Bluffs Riverfront Revitalization 

  1. What is the scope of the project?
    • The Mayors of Council Bluffs and Omaha, along with a group of community leaders, are working together with other government officials and stakeholders to improve both sides of the Missouri River. A national team of experts, led by OJB Landscape Architecture, has developed a master plan for River’s Edge from north of Hanafan Park to the Union Pacific Bridge in Council Bluffs, areas in and around Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park, and Lewis & Clark Landing in Omaha.
  2. What types of improvements will we see in Council Bluffs?
    • Each area will have unique features that create a cohesive, accessible, and enjoyable riverfront. Council Bluffs will see a number of improvements along the Missouri River including a children’s play area, dog park, sports courts, an adventure park with a zip line and rock climbing wall, a treetop walk with an observation tower, more than 4.5 miles of walking/ biking trails and boardwalks, green spaces, prairies, public art, and more. 
    • There is currently an ongoing study to determine if a marina can be built on the Council Bluffs side of the river. This project will likely be Phase 2 of the Council Bluffs Riverfront Revitalization. 
  3. When will construction activities begin?
    • Phase I: River’s Edge North: 2020 – 2022
    • Phase II: River’s Edge South: To be determined. The construction schedule is dependent on the marina feasibility study.
  4. How can the public stay informed throughout this process?
    • As key design milestones are achieved, information will be updated on this website. 
    • You can also follow the Council Bluffs Riverfront Revitalization on Facebook @CouncilBluffsRiverfront
    • For information on the entire project and plans for both sides of the river, visit  http://riverfrontrevitalization.com/.
  5. What is the cost and how is it funded?
    • The initial estimate includes a budget of approximately $60 million. This will be funded through private donations and public contributions. A detailed answer will be provided as financial planning is completed.
  6. Will my taxes increase?
    • Tax increases are not part of the funding plan.
  7.  What about flooding?
    • This project is on the "wet" (west) side of the levee, so the potential for rising waters has been factored into the designs. The amenities in this area will be built to mitigate and withstand rising and/ or standing water.
    • All proposed trees and vegetation in the park shall consist of native species to the region and shall be treated as a “restoration” of the riparian ecosystem. We will be removing invasive trees and plant material that is detrimental to shoreline stability and ecology.  We are working closely with specialists who will ensure the plant material is compatible with flooding conditions and will thrive with the river fluctuations.  No rigid formal rows of plantings will be designed to ensure a natural aesthetic and will not look out of place should a series of trees die over time. 
    • All of the proposed structures will be designed to withstand the force of flood waters and not act as a snag for floating debris.  Low lying boardwalks, paths, signage, etc. will be constructed of durable materials and be able to withstand inundation of water. Larger structures including the tree walk, pier, and observation tower will be designed to be above the finished elevation of the pier while their structural systems below will be robust enough to handle the flow of flood waters.  All efforts will be made to keep most of the structures located in the 980 elevation or above in an effort to minimize the frequency of inundation.