- Associated Press - Saturday, March 4, 2017

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs officials hope a $36 million redevelopment of a key thoroughfare will spark economic development and brighten a busy area that the mayor calls the city’s “front doorway.”

Work will start this month on a five-year overhaul of West Broadway, which connects Council Bluffs and Omaha, Nebraska.

“Overall, it will have a psychic effect,” Mayor Matt Walsh told the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2m2TmvR ). “People will have renewed pride in the community.”

The work will include colored pavers, new street lights and decorative pillars. Crews also will install new sewers, which should lessen cracking caused by pooling water that freezes and thaws.

The three blocks closest to Omaha should be completed by this fall, providing a sense of what’s to follow. Ultimately, the work will stretch along nearly 2 miles of Broadway.

“The idea is that when you are on the West Broadway corridor, there will be specific pieces of streetscape that will all match and be tied to each other, so the corridor will be recognizable,” said Matt Cox, the city engineer.

Officials said the work follows city moves to buy and demolish a number of dilapidated buildings along Broadway, leaving grassy plots the city hopes to sell as it works to redevelop the area.

The work will be incorporated into a separate state project to reconstruct Interstates 29 and 480 through Council Bluffs.

The Broadway project will be funded through public and private sources.

“We’re excited to get it started and get it completed,” Walsh said

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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