Our founder, former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, envisioned a pedestrian bridge spanning the Missouri River and connecting two cities and two states! His vision found support. Following extensive planning, BttR, along with numerous partners, advanced a preliminary bridge design that was both functional and architecturally significant. Funding followed. The Senator delivered an $18 million grant and we joined other public and private sources to provide an additional $4 million. Upon completion, both cities agreed to name the bridge in honor of Bob Kerrey. On September 28, 2008 the bridge opened.
The resulting Pedestrian Bridge is defined by twin spires reaching 200 feet into the sky, representing the connection between the cities of Council Bluffs and Omaha. The graceful curved design of the bridge – named by Travel+Leisure magazine as one of the world’s most beautiful pedestrian bridges – reflects the elegance of the water that rushes below. At night, the twin spires and graceful cable stays light up the Missouri River for miles.
The landmark showcases the trail access, wildlife and compatible economic development that is possible along the Missouri River. Walkers, bikers, joggers, birdwatchers and others can traverse the 3,70o-foot span, which connects nearly 150 miles of trails in both Iowa and Nebraska.
Project Partners: The States of Nebraska & Iowa, Cities of Council Bluffs & Omaha, Kiewit Foundation, Iowa West Foundation, P-MRNRD, Federal Grants, MAPA and others.
Estimated Financial Support: Back to the River – $450,000
Estimated Total Project Cost: $22,000,000
Years: 2007, 2008