Interstate 680 (Nebraska–Iowa)

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Interstate 680

I-680 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-80
Maintained by NDOT and Iowa DOT
Length16.49 mi[1] (26.54 km)
Nebraska: 13.32 mi (21.44 km)[2]
Iowa: 3.17 mi (5.10 km)[3]
ExistedDecember 13, 1966[4]–present
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end I-80 in Omaha, Nebraska
Major intersections
East end I-29 near Crescent, Iowa
CountryUnited States
Highway system
I-480NE N-1
I-480IA I-880

Interstate 680 (I-680) in Nebraska and Iowa is the northern bypass of the Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area. I-680 spans 16.49 miles (26.54 km) from its southern end in western Omaha, Nebraska, to its eastern end near Crescent, Iowa. 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.

From 1973 until 2019, I-680 extended much farther into Iowa. It followed I-29 for 10 miles (16 km) between Crescent and Loveland. It then headed east along what is now known as I-880 until it met I-80 again near Neola. The I-880 section was originally known as I-80N from 1966 until it was absorbed into I-680 in 1973. I-680 in Omaha was originally designated Interstate 280 (I-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

The Mormon Bridge at sunrise

I-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 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 US Route 6 (US 6), known as Dodge Street in Omaha.[2] Another mile (1.6 km) north of Dodge Street is N-64, known as Maple Street.[2]

At N-133, I-680 turns to the east toward 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 4.5 miles (7.2 km).[8] I-680 crosses over N-36, which is accessed via the US 75 interchange 0.5 miles (0.80 km) later. US 75 runs adjacent to I-680 for one mile (1.6 km) before turning south at 30th Street.[2] The Interstate crosses the Missouri River to Iowa via the Mormon Bridge.[9] In Iowa, I-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] I-680 ends at an interchange with I-29 just west of Crescent.


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

Interstate 280

LocationOmaha, Nebraska

In Nebraska, plans for I-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 I-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 redesignated as I-680 around 1965.[11] In Iowa, I-80N opened to traffic on December 13, 1966.[4] I-80N extended from the current northern interchange with I-29 near Loveland to the I-80 interchange near Neola.

In the early 1970s, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) decided that Interstates with a directional suffix, such as I-80N, would have to be renumbered.[12] By 1974, I-80N had been redesignated to I-680 to match Nebraska.[13] The last piece of I-680 to be completed in Nebraska was the westbound bridge across the Missouri River.[14] Paving in Iowa wrapped up in the years to come and the entire route was open to traffic by April 21, 1979.[4]

2011 flooding

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

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.[15] 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.[16]

After floodwaters 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.[17] Construction crews worked at "an accelerated pace" to complete the road in 34 days.[18] The road was officially reopened on November 2 during a ceremony in Crescent hosted by Governor Terry Branstad.[19]

2019 renumbering

Due to I-29 and I-680 being subjected to flooding from the adjacent Missouri River, Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) officials sought to reduce confusion among drivers who were forced to use I-680 and I-80 as a detour around floodwaters. They proposed to AASHTO to rename the section of I-680 from Loveland to Neola, Iowa as I-880. The plan was approved on October 5, 2019.[20] I-880 would follow the same routing that I-80N had 50 years earlier. Iowa DOT updated its online maps and announced that the signage would be changed just weeks after the official approval by AASHTO.[21]

Exit list

NebraskaDouglasOmaha0.000.00446 I-80 – Downtown, LincolnCounterclockwise terminus; I-80 exit 446; exit number is for I-80 westbound; exit number based on I-80 mileage
0.721.161 West Center Road / I Street / US 275 / N-92 (L Street) / Q StreetNo southbound entrance; southbound exit uses C/D lanes; West Center Road is former N-38; northbound exit signed as West Center Road only
1.732.782Pacific Street
2.914.683 US 6 (West Dodge Road) – Downtown, Boys TownThere are direct exit and entrance ramps to/from Old Mill, 114th Street, and 120th Street
4.487.214 N-64 (Maple Street)
5.939.545Fort Street
7.0311.316 N-133 (Blair High Road) – Blair, Irvington
9.7515.69972nd Street
US 75 (48th Street) to N-36
Former US 73
12.9420.821330th Street (L-28H) – Eppley AirfieldL-28H unsigned
Missouri River13.32
Mormon Bridge
IowaPottawattamieCrescent Township1.0991.7691County Road[22]
I-29 / CR G37 east – Council Bluffs, Crescent, Sioux City
Clockwise terminus; signed as 3A (south) and 3B (east); I-29 exit 61B
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. December 31, 2021. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Nebraska Highway Reference Log Book" (PDF). Nebraska Department of Roads. 2015. pp. 311–312. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  3. ^ a b 2009 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa (PDF) (Report). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Iowa Department of Transportation (1996). The National System of Interstate Defense Highways 1956–1996.
  5. ^ Neighborhood Associations (PDF) (Map). City of Omaha. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 9, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  6. ^ Google (January 26, 2012). "I-680 south of N-133 interchange" (Map). Google Maps. Google. 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 (January 26, 2012). "I-680 at N-133 interchange" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  9. ^ Janberg, Nicolas. "Mormon Bridge (1952)". Structurae. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  10. ^ Google (January 26, 2012). "I-680 through Iowa" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  11. ^ 1965 Iowa State Highway Map (PDF) (Map). Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  12. ^ AASHTO (January 2000). "Establishment of a Marking System of the Routes Comprising the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 1, 2006. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  13. ^ 1974 Iowa State Highway Map (PDF) (Map). Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Koster, George E. (1997). "A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska" (PDF). Nebraska Department of Roads. p. 82. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  15. ^ "Updated Flood Summary: Additional Sections Of 2 Interstates Closed". Des Moines, Iowa: KCCI. June 11, 2011. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  16. ^ "Critical I-29, I-680 Interchange Reopens To Traffic". Des Moines, Iowa: KCCI. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  17. ^ "Bids opened on I-680 rebuilding project in Pottawattamie County". Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  18. ^ "Interstate 680 to reopen on Nov. 2; grand reopening ceremony planned". Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  19. ^ "I-680 grand reopening ceremony to be held in Crescent". Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  20. ^ Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (October 6, 2019). "2019 Annual Meeting Report to the Council on Highways and Streets" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019. "Ballot" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 23, 2019.
  21. ^ "Northern Tier of I-680 to Be Renamed I-880". Omaha, NE: WOWT-TV. October 14, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  22. ^ Google (August 22, 2009). "Exit 1 in Iowa" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 22, 2009.

External links