Interstate 680 (Iowa–Nebraska)

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Interstate 680 marker

Interstate 680
I-680 is an outer bypass of downtown Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Omaha regional map with I-680 highlighted in red.
Route information
Length: 42.86 mi[4] (68.98 km)
Nebraska: 13.32 miles (21.44 km)[1]
Iowa: 29.54 miles (47.54 km)[2]
Existed: December 13, 1966[3] – present
Major junctions
West end: I-80 in Omaha, Nebr.
  US-6 in Omaha, Nebr.
US-75 in Omaha, Nebr.
I-29 near Crescent, Iowa
East end: I-80 near Neola, Iowa
Highway system

Interstate 680 (abbreviated I-680) in Nebraska and Iowa is the northern bypass of the Omaha, Nebraska – Council Bluffs, Iowa, metropolitan area. I-680 spans 42.86 miles (68.98 km) from its western end in western Omaha to its eastern end near Neola, Iowa. For a 10-mile (16 km) stretch, I-680 is co-signed with I-29. The freeway passes through a diverse range of scenes and terrains – the urban setting of Omaha, the Missouri River and its valley, the rugged Loess Hills, and the farmland of Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

Until 1973, the section in Iowa between the current eastern end and I-29 was designated as Interstate 80N. I-680 in Omaha was originally designated Interstate 280. Maps from the early and mid-1960s showed I-280 in Omaha. Since this highway would extend into Iowa, and I-280 was already planned for the Quad Cities area, this route was redesignated I-680.

Route description[edit]

Interstate 680 begins at a complex interchange with I-80 in Omaha. Due to the proximity of the West Center Road interchange on I-680 and the I, L and Q Street interchanges on I-80, all of the exit and entrance ramps which connect I-80 to I-680 also connect to West Center Road and I, L and Q Streets. The freeway heads north through the heart of West Omaha; it serves as a dividing line of several residential neighborhoods.[5][6] Two miles (3.2 km) north of West Center Road, which prior to 2003 was Nebraska Highway 38 (N-38),[7] is a new interchange with U.S. Route 6 (US 6), known as Dodge Street in Omaha.[1] Another mile north of Dodge Street is N-64, known as Maple Street.[1]

At N-133, I-680 turns to the east towards Iowa. South of this interchange, I-680 travels through residential neighborhoods, but to the east, the population thins and the interstate passes through farmland for 4 12 miles (7.2 km).[8] I-680 crosses over N-36, which is accessed via the US 75 interchange 12 mile (0.80 km) later. US 75 runs adjacent to I-680 for one mile (1.6 km) before turning south at 30th Street.[1] The interstate crosses the Missouri River to Iowa via the Mormon Bridge.[9]

In Iowa, Interstate 680 is markedly less urban than in Nebraska. The first three miles (4.8 km) of I-680 travel through the flat bottoms of the Missouri River valley.[10] At the interchange west of Crescent, eastbound I-680 joins northbound I-29 for just under ten miles (16 km).[2] The north–south stretch of I-29 / I-680 sits approximately halfway between the Missouri River and the Loess Hills. Near the unincorporated village of Loveland, I-680 exits from I-29 and turns east again, immediately entering the Loess Hills.[11]

For six miles (9.7 km), I-680 cuts through the rugged Loess Hills. Two miles (3.2 km) east of the I-29 interchange, there is a scenic overlook for westbound traffic. The Loveland overlook gives a view of the Loess Hills and Missouri River valley.[12] Continuing east, I-680 travels over the rolling hills of rural Pottawattamie County. Four miles (6.4 km) of Neola, I-680 meets the southern end of Iowa Highway 191 (Iowa 191) before ending itself 34 mile (1.2 km) later at a full Y interchange at I-80.[2]

History[edit]

From the beginning, I-680 was designed to bypass Omaha to the north.
The original plans of what is now Interstate 680 around Omaha.

Interstate 280
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Existed: 1958–1965

Interstate 80N
Location: Loveland–Neola, Iowa
Existed: 1966–1969

In Nebraska, plans for Interstate 280 to bypass Omaha to the north to I-29 were drawn up in the late 1950s. At the same time, plans were being drawn up for an Interstate 280 to bypass the Quad Cities. Since two interstates cannot have the same designation in the same state, one of the I-280s had to be renumbered. The Omaha I-280 was re-designated as I-680 around 1965.[13] In Iowa, Interstate 80N opened to traffic on December 13, 1966.[3] I-80N extended from the current northern interchange with I-29 near Loveland to the I-80 interchange near Neola.

In the early 1970s, AASHTO, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, decided that interstates with a directional suffix, such as I-80N, would have to be renumbered.[14] By 1974, I-80N had been re-designated to I-680 to match Nebraska.[15] The last piece of I-680 to be completed in Nebraska was the westbound bridge across the Missouri River.[16] Paving in Iowa wrapped up in the years to come and the entire route was open to traffic by April 21, 1979.[3]

2011 flooding[edit]

Interchange with I-29 looking toward the Mormon Bridge from Council Bluffs on June 16, 2011 during the 2011 Missouri River floods

Over the course of several months in 2011, I-680 was severely damaged by flood waters from the Missouri River. The first sections of both I-680 and I-29 closed on June 10. I-29 was closed from North 25th Street to the northern I-680 interchange near Loveland. I-680 was closed from US 75 in Omaha to the southern interchange with I-29.[17] A week later, water was diverted and drained from the area around the northern I-29 interchange to allow traffic to use the roads. I-680 was opened from the interchange to the Beebeetown exit and I-29 was reopened from the interchange to the US 30 exit at Missouri Valley. I-29 traffic was routed around the flooded area by using I-680 eastbound to I-80 westbound to Council Bluffs.[18]

After flood waters receded and the damage was assessed, sections of I-680 were reopened to traffic. However, the section west of I-29 was the most heavily damaged and it remained closed. Contract bids were let on September 23 and reconstruction began on September 28.[19] Construction crews worked at "an accelerated pace" to complete the road in 34 days.[20] The road was officially reopened on November 2 during a ceremony in Crescent hosted by Governor Terry Branstad.[21]

Exit list[edit]

State County Location Mile[1][2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Nebraska Douglas Omaha 0.00 0.00 I-80 – Downtown Omaha, Lincoln
0.72 1.16 1 US-275 / N-92 (L Street) / W. Center Road / I Street / Q Street Northbound exit for W. Center Road only
1.73 2.78 2 Pacific Street
2.91 4.68 3 US-6 (W. Dodge Road) – Downtown Omaha, Boys Town For westbound traffic, direct exit ramp to Old Mill, 114th Street, and 120th Street
4.48 7.21 4 N-64 (Maple Street)
5.93 9.54 5 Fort Street
7.03 11.31 6 N-133 (Blair High Road) – Blair, Irvington
9.75 15.69 9 72nd Street
11.99 19.30 12 US-75 (48th Street) to N-36 – Fort Calhoun
12.94 20.82 13 30th Street – Eppley Airfield
Missouri River 13.32
0.000
21.44
0.000
Mormon Bridge
Iowa Pottawattamie Crescent Township 1.099 1.769 1 County Road[22]
Crescent 3.169 5.100 3 I-29 south / CR G37 east – Crescent, Council Bluffs West end of I-29 overlap; exit numbers follow I-29
Honey Creek 7.668 12.340 66 Honey Creek
Loveland 12.826 20.641 13A I-29 north – Sioux City East end of I-29 overlap; exit numbers follow I-680
Boomer Township 20.988 33.777 21 CR L34 – Beebeetown, Logan
Neola 28.575 45.987 28 Iowa 191 north / CR G8L south – Neola, Persia
29.391 47.300 29 I-80 – Council Bluffs, Des Moines Signed as exits 29A (east) and 29B (west).
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Nebraska Department of Roads (2008). "Nebraska Highway Reference Log Book". pp. 366–368. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "2009 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa" (PDF). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Iowa Department of Transportation (1996). The National System of Interstate Defense Highways 1956–1996. 
  4. ^ Federal Highway Administration. "Route Log - Auxiliary Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 2". Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  5. ^ City of Omaha (PDF). Neighborhood Associations (Map). http://www.cityofomaha.org/mayor/images/wordpress/uploads/2009/11/neighborhood-map-april-2011.pdf. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  6. ^ Google Inc. "I-680 south of N-133 interchange". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I-680+N&daddr=I-680+N&hl=en&sll=41.307987,-96.028404&sspn=0.062539,0.169086&geocode=FcYcdQIdPNRF-g%3BFSqDdgIdzhhG-g&mra=ls&t=h&z=12. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  7. ^ "End of the historic road as Nebraska Highway 38 goes off the map". Omaha World-Herald. January 10, 2003. 
  8. ^ Google Inc. "I-680 at N-133 interchange". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I-680+S&hl=en&ll=41.313016,-96.037502&spn=0.0958,0.153809&sll=41.277032,-96.020851&sspn=0.191706,0.307617&geocode=FRqGdgIdEBlG-g&mra=mr&t=h&z=13. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  9. ^ Janberg, Nicolas. "Mormon Bridge (1952)". Structurae. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  10. ^ Google Inc. "I-680 through Iowa". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I-29+N&daddr=I-680+E&hl=en&ll=41.393294,-95.811768&spn=0.382728,0.615234&sll=41.563573,-95.676498&sspn=0.381723,0.615234&geocode=FYAGdwIdwKxI-g%3BFYA2eQId5GpN-g&mra=mift&mrsp=1&sz=11&t=h&z=11. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  11. ^ Iowa Department of Transportation (2011). Transportation Map (Map). http://www.iowadotmaps.com/msp/pdf/current/stmapmain.pdf. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  12. ^ "Pottawattamie County" (PDF). Golden Hills Resource Conservation & Development. p. 2. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  13. ^ Iowa State Highway Commission. 1965 Iowa State Highway Map (Map). http://www.iowadotmaps.com/msp/historical/pdf/1965_front.pdf. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  14. ^ AASHTO (January 2000). "Establishment of a Marking System of the Routes Comprising the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways" (PDF). Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ Iowa State Highway Commission. 1974 Iowa State Highway Map (Map). http://www.iowadotmaps.com/msp/historical/pdf/1974_front.pdf. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  16. ^ Koster, George E. (1997). "A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska". Nebraska Department of Roads. p. 82. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Updated Flood Summary: Additional Sections Of 2 Interstates Closed". Des Moines, Iowa: KCCI. June 11, 2011. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Critical I-29, I-680 Interchange Reopens To Traffic". Des Moines, Iowa: KCCI. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Bids opened on I-680 rebuilding project in Pottawattamie County". Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Interstate 680 to reopen on Nov. 2; grand reopening ceremony planned". Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  21. ^ "I-680 grand reopening ceremony to be held in Crescent". Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  22. ^ Google Inc. "Exit 1 in Iowa". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=&sll=41.346434,-95.943646&sspn=0.017108,0.027595&gl=us&ie=UTF8&ll=41.346444,-95.943515&spn=0,359.998275&z=19&layer=c&cbll=41.346447,-95.943629&panoid=x3BjymI4CiI4CU-cvS84yw&cbp=12,139.92,,1,2.62. Retrieved 2009-08-22.

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

Browse numbered routes
I-480 NE N-1
I-480 IA Iowa 904