AMES, Iowa -- It's one of the largest and most expensive bridge projects the Iowa DOT has entered into, the Ames flyover bridge. The project got started in late 2016 and is finally on the home stretch.
Although it won’t be ready for Iowa State’s home opener, it will be ready for the state of Iowa’s biggest football game of the year.
“A few months ago the contractor was shooting for September and they are still on track. They are on track to open it up the week of September 13. So they will open it right before the [Cy-Hawk] game. That's the goal.” Jesse Tibodeau, Iowa DOT Construction Engineer for District One said.
Tibodeau says the main item left on the bridge is the steel rail that you can see on the underside of the bridge. Then it's just putting up things such as the guard rail and striping the roadway.
The $23 million project has been through a lot. In 2018 there was a major construction error where they had to rebuild the six pillars and had multiple delays. But finally it's looking like those heading to Ames will have a safer way to Highway 30.
“The driving factor for the project was safety,” Tibodeau said. “We wanted to address the crashes that were happening on Northbound I-35 at the loops. So this project, when it's open, will remove all the weaving and moving on the interstate.”
Channel 13 reported back in 2017, that the HWY 30/I-35 interchange was built in the 1950s and was only supposed to handle about 20% of the daily traffic it handles now.
The Iowa DOT has been working with the Iowa State Police, State Patrol, and Ames Police to make sure they have a gameplan in place for the Cy-Hawk game because the traffic will look much different heading into Ames.