Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
The picturesque Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge spans the Missouri River and provides a scenic walkway between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska. The bridge officially opened in September 2008 after almost two years of construction; original federal funding for the bridge was secured by Senator Bob Kerrey, for whom the bridge is named. The plan for construction was altered several times due to cost concerns. Ultimately, the successful bid for the project was $22 million, submitted by Kansas City engineering firm HNTB and approved in May 2006.
The recently completed Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is named for Senator Bob Kerrey, who was instrumental in obtaining $18 million in federal funding for the bridge in 2000; Kerrey also gained national attention during his unsuccessful 1992 presidential campaign. The original plans for the bridge were revised due to excessively high costs; the downscaled project was awarded to HNTB, a Kansas City architectural firm, for their bid of $22 million. Construction began in October 2006, and was completed two years later in September 2008; a spectacular fireworks display was the highlight of the opening ceremonies. The bridge features 200-foot-tall towers and uses cable-stayed bridge construction techniques; it spans the 3,000 feet distance across the Missouri river between Omaha and Council Bluffs, and is the first pedestrian bridge to connect two separate states.
The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is a notable landmark and tourist attraction in the region, and is equipped with multicolor lights that trace the bridge’s outline. The lights were donated by the Gallup University campus, which is located adjacent to the footing of the bridge on the Nebraska side at Port of Omaha’s Miller Landing. Programmable controls allow impressive lighting effects to be displayed on the Pedestrian Bridge, providing a festive appearance to the entire area on special occasions.