A ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 1st celebrated the opening of the new Eastern Hills Drive and the completion of a project that began nearly 20 years ago.
The Eastern Hills Drive and Connecting Roadways Program includes six segments that collectively improve the transportation network in eastern Council Bluffs by completing Eastern Hills Drive between US Highway 6 and Iowa Highway 92, while providing improved connections to developments along Greenview Road, Steven Road, and Cottonwood Road.
The new Eastern Hills Drive (Segment D) project included grading and new roadway construction on a new alignment from Highway 92 to State Orchard Road, and on the existing State Orchard Road alignment from Greenview Road to the Intersection of Eastern Hills Drive and State Orchard Road. A roundabout was constructed at the intersection of Greenview and State Orchard and new traffic signals were installed at Highway 92. A 10-foot wide concrete trail was constructed on the north side of the new roadway. The project also required the construction of two large concrete box culverts within Little Pony Creek.
“The completion of new Eastern Hills Drive provides local transportation system continuity,” said Matt Cox, City of Council Bluffs Public Works Director. “It also increases the capacity of existing roads to accommodate future traffic demands and improves emergency access and safety.”
This infographic shows how to travel through the new roundabout. Roundabouts are proven to be safer than traditional stop sign or signal-controlled intersections. Roundabouts reduce the number of crashes, have fewer sever crashes, offer lower maintenance costs compared to traffic signals, and the increased capacity decreases delays, and reduces pollution.
The cost of the new Eastern Hills Drive (Segment D) was $8.8 million. The total cost of all six segments of Eastern Hills Drive and Connecting Roadways Program is approximately $25 million. Several trips to Washington DC in the early 2000s led to the award of a $3.5M appropriation and $10.2M in earmarks. Surface Transportation Program funds allocated to the region were also utilized, allowing 80% of the program costs to be paid with federal funding. The City of Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County share the remaining 20%.
“The completion of this long-term project is a great example of a successful City/ County partnership,” said Mayor Matt Walsh. “Thanks to everyone at the City, County, and our consultants for their commitment to the betterment of our community.”
The consultant team consists of HGM, Snyder & Associates, Schemmer, HDR, and Terracon. Hawkins Construction served as the contractor.
Segment F of the Eastern Hills Drive and Connecting Roadways Program is planned for 2022.