Gov. Terry Brandstad got an up-close and personal look at on-going construction of the Highway 34 Bridge in western Mills County on Friday.
Iowa Department of Transportation officials gave Branstad a guided tour of the concrete pylons being poured along the Missouri River. It was the governor’s first look at the $150 million bridge project since last summer.
“This is a huge project,” Branstad said after touring the site. “It’s going to be a wonderful thing for southwest Iowa to have this crossing over the Missouri River. I think it’s really going to help with economic development along the Highway 34 corridor. It will be a significant benefit and I’m looking forward to seeing it finished next year.”
When completed the more than three-quarters of a mile long bridge will stand about 65 feet above the river and will link Mills County with Highway 75 in eastern Sarpy County, near LaPlatte, Neb.
The project also includes more than three miles of concrete paving on a four lane road from a re-configured Interstate 29 and Highway 34 interchange on the Iowa side and more than two miles of new road on the Nebraska side.
Eastbound paving of the Iowa side approach to the bridge and the work on the I-29/Highway 34 interchange is expected to be completed this summer. Work could begin on the westbound lanes this summer as well, weather permitting.
The bridge had been scheduled for completion late this year but delays cause by flooding on both sides of the river in 2011 slowed progress pushing back the expected completion date to fall of 2014.