A Cross-State Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge Opens Its Path

September 28, 2008

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge was officially opened to foot and bicycle traffic two months ahead of schedule. The footbridge crosses over the Missouri River and links the cities of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska. The 3,000-foot (914.4-meter) structure, which can be found north of the Interstate 480 girder bridge, is the longest footbridge connecting two states and also one of the longest footbridges in the world. 

The footbridge was named in honor of Bob Kerrey. This designation had been proposed by a six-member bridge-naming committee and formally approved by the governments of both Council Bluffs and Omaha. As a U.S. senator from Nebraska from 1989 to 2001, Kerrey (who had also served as governor of the Cornhusker State) was instrumental in securing federal funds to build the footbridge.

The early-afternoon festivities surrounding the footbridge’s debut included a ribbon-cutting jointly done by Mayor Mike Fahey of Omaha and Tom Hanafan of Council Bluffs. Just over two weeks before the opening of the bridge, a set of multi-colored lights for the structure was unveiled. As part of that ceremony, the lights were turned on while the Phil Collins song “In the Air Tonight” was broadcast via a PA system. In addition to connecting Council Bluffs with Omaha, the footbridge serves as a major link for approximately 150 miles (241.4 kilometers) of trails for pedestrians and bicyclists on both the Iowa and Nebraska sides of the Missouri River.

For more information on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, please check out https://www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/2178/Bob-Kerrey-Pedestrian-Bridge.

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