Interstate 880 (Iowa)

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Interstate 880

I-880 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-80
Maintained by Iowa DOT
Length19.63 mi[1] (31.59 km)
ExistedOctober 5, 2019[2]–present
  • I-80N: 1966–1973
  • I-680: 1973–2019
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
West end I-29 near Loveland
East end I-80 near Neola
CountryUnited States
Highway system
I-680 Iowa 906

Interstate 880 (I-880) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in Iowa. Its route was created in 2019 from a section of I-680 in order to facilitate the movement of I-29 traffic around Council Bluffs in the event of Missouri River flooding.[2] It follows the same routing as Interstate 80N (I-80N), which originally connected I-29 and I-80 from 1966 to 1973.

Route description

I-880, the Loess Hills, and the Missouri River valley as viewed from the Loveland overlook

I-880 begins at a trumpet interchange with I-29 in the Missouri River alluvial plain near Loveland, which lies in the northeastern quadrant of the interchange. The four-lane road curves east into the Loess Hills where the surrounding lands rise 300 feet (91 m) in elevation from the flood plain.[3] 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.[4] East of the overlook, there are rest areas for each direction. Near the interchange with County Road L34 (CR L34), the road straightens out and heads generally due east until it reaches I-80. About 0.75 miles (1.21 km) before its eastern end, it meets Iowa Highway 191 (Iowa 191) and CR G8L. I-880 ends at a Y interchange with I-80 just northeast of Neola.[5][6]


Interstate 80N

LocationLoveland to Neola

In the initial drafts of the Interstate Highway System in 1947, an east–west road that would come to be known as I-80 was drawn across the center of Iowa, its western entry into the state would be in the Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area.[7] Two options for the route emerged. The first was a continuation of I-80's east–west path to I-29 near Loveland and then utilize the Mormon Bridge to cross into Nebraska. The second option routed I-80 to the southwest from Neola to Council Bluffs and then across the Nebraska–Iowa state line over the Missouri River into Omaha. The Iowa State Highway Commission preferred the Loveland route, but the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) allowed the commission to proceed with both routes and determine the more important route later.[8] Within two years, priorities and route numbers were assigned. The Loveland option would be known as I-80N and was given a slightly higher priority than the second option, which would carry the I-80 number.[9]

Work on I-80N began in 1957; some overpasses and culverts were completed by 1960. Controversy began shortly even before construction began. Officials in Council Bluffs and Omaha were angered that the I-80N project took precedent over the mainline I-80 project that would pass through their cities. The head of the Iowa State Highway Commission at the time was Chris Larsen, a Republican from Sioux City. Larsen used his position on the commission to protect the interests of northwestern Iowa; he vowed to not support the I-80 project at all if the Loveland extension was not included. Without the extension, Larsen argued that all I-80 traffic would be routed through Council Bluffs and little traffic would travel north to Sioux City. Democrats on the commission discovered and announced in late 1957 that the commission had already purchased 375 acres (152 ha) of right-of-way for I-80N before any public meetings occurred and before the route was finalized. It was suggested that Larsen had begun construction on I-80N in order to futureproof it from changes by future commissions, a charge Larsen denied. Statewide construction priorities shifted, and, by the mid-1960s, I-80N was mostly graded but not paved. In the wake of the Larsen controversy, the commission affirmed a previous decision to complete I-80N before I-80 through Council Bluffs. They cited the previous grading and bridge work that had been completed as reasons to continue the project. In addition, BPR officials stated that such a project would not be approved in the future if there were more important projects.[10] I-80N was open to traffic on December 13, 1966.[11]

New I-880 reassurance sign entering the highway from the Logan-Beebetown interchange (November 2019)
New I-880 reassurance sign just east of the onramp at the LoganBeebeetown interchange (November 2019)

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]

Throughout the 2010s, I-29 and I-680 were 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 as I-880. The plan was approved on October 5, 2019.[2] 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.[14]

Exit list

The entire route is in Pottawattamie County.


I-29 to I-680 west – North Omaha, Sioux City
Signed as exits 0A (I-29 south) and 0B (I-29 north)
Boomer Township8.16213.1358 CR L34 – Logan, Beebeetown

Iowa 191 north / CR G8L south – Neola, Persia
16.56526.65916 I-80 – Council Bluffs, Des MoinesSigned as exits 16A (east) and 16B (west)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  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 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.
  3. ^ Iowa State University Geographic Information Systems Support & Research Facility (October 9, 2019). "Iowa Geographic Map Server" (Topographic map). Ames, Iowa. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  4. ^ "Pottawattamie County" (PDF). Golden Hills Resource Conservation & Development. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  5. ^ Iowa Department of Transportation (2015). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Google (October 9, 2019). "Interstate 880 (Iowa)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Public Roads Administration (August 2, 1947). National System of Interstate Highways (Map). Washington, DC: Public Roads Administration. Retrieved October 10, 2019 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  8. ^ "Recommend Initial Planning on Both Routes in Road Row". Carroll Daily Times Herald. Associated Press. October 30, 1957. p. 6. Retrieved October 9, 2019 – via
  9. ^ Eberline, William (July 19, 1959). "Study New Priorities for Interstate Work". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Associated Press. pp. 17–18. Retrieved October 9, 2019 – via
  10. ^ "Near Finish of I-80N Project". The Des Moines Register. August 22, 1965. pp. 13–14. Retrieved October 9, 2019 – via
  11. ^ Iowa Department of Transportation (January 1, 1982). Completion Map of Interstate System (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Ames: Iowa Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 29, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  12. ^ American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (January 2000). "Establishment of a Marking System of the Routes Comprising the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways" (PDF). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 1, 2006. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  13. ^ Iowa State Highway Commission (1974). 1974 Iowa State Highway Map (PDF) (Map). Des Moines: Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  14. ^ "Northern Tier of I-680 to Be Renamed I-880". Omaha, NE: WOWT-TV. October 14, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  15. ^ 2016 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa (PDF) (Report). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2019.

External links