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Frequently Asked Questions

When will construction end?

Projects within the program area will be constructed over the course of several years. Projects will be bundled so they can be constructed at the same time. This approach will decrease the overall length and construction impacts of the program.

How do I know if I am in the Corridor Preservation Zone?

Please refer to the Corridor Preservation Zone map to determine if you are in the CPZ.

What is the Corridor Preservation Zone?

The Corridor Preservation Zone is an area where future transportation improvements could occur that may require the acquisition of right of way. Designation of the CPZ allows Iowa DOT to review building permits, subdivision plats and proposed zoning changes to determine if they are compatible with future roadway improvements.

What steps are necessary when developing property in the Corridor Preservation Zone?

The Iowa DOT is part of the permit review process conducted by the City of Council Bluffs for all properties within the Corridor Preservation Zone. Iowa DOT will evaluate the potential impacts to the development by the proposed highway improvements. If there are impacts to the development, the Iowa DOT will contact the owner or developer and try to find a solution that will work for both the developer and the proposed highway plans. If a solution cannot be found, Iowa DOT may pursue acquisition of all or part of the property being developed.

If my property is in the Corridor Preservation Zone, what process of land acquisition should I expect?

As part of the proposed improvements, Iowa DOT policy provides for appraisal of property and/or property rights needed for each project. Professional techniques and methods are used to determine “just compensation” in accordance with federal and state constitutions, laws and regulations. Appraisals are prepared to assure fair treatment for both the property owner and the public.

After completing the appraisal, a right of way agent contacts each owner to explain the plans and appraisals and negotiate the contract for the required right of way. If an agreement cannot be reached through negotiations, the property may be acquired by the laws of eminent domain.

See the Property Acquisition page for additional resources.

If my property is in the Corridor Preservation Zone and I can’t sell it, will Iowa DOT purchase it?

Properties within the CPZ are selected for acquisition based on the potential impact to the property due to interstate improvements. Iowa DOT staff, from the Offices of Design and Right-of-Way, determine the potential impacts and assess the need for partial or full property acquisition. If structures including houses, garages, and outbuildings are going to be disturbed or if access to the property will be disrupted, the DOT may make a determination to acquire the entire property. 

What is the Iowa DOT process for filing a hardship request?

The property owner will need to mail a letter with the request for a hardship early acquisition outlining their situation to the District Office. The DOT staff would then be able to coordinate with the Right-of-Way department to receive the necessary approvals. The letter should be addressed to Scott Schram, P.E., District 4 Engineer, Iowa Department of Transportation, District 4 Office, 2210 E 7th St, Atlantic, IA 50022 and copy Jim Muetzel, the Program Manager for the Council Bluffs Interstate System program.

Where can I learn more about the right of way process?

For more information on the right of way process, please visit the Iowa DOT's Office of Right of Way website. You can also download the Iowa DOT's right of way brochure, "Highways and Your Land."

How can I see construction plans in my area?

As each project progresses, the website, social media and publications will be utilized to provide regular construction impact information. Public meetings will be held to present details of the proposed improvements. Information regarding those meetings is available here.

You are also invited to visit the program office at your convenience to view current plans. The program office is located at Mall of the Bluffs, 1751 Madison Avenue, Suite 750, Council Bluffs, IA.

How will I know about traffic impacts in my area?

To learn about real-time traffic and detour updates, visit the Getting Around page. If you have specific questions regarding traffic impacts, please contact our program office at (712) 326-3712.

How will I be notified about changes to the highway design in my area?

This website will be the program’s main means for disseminating construction-related information to the public. Please visit the site often to learn about changes to the highway design. If you have specific questions, please contact our public information officer at (712) 326-3712.

Someone is dumping garbage in a construction zone. What should I do?

You may contact our public information officer at (712) 326-3712 to report illegal dumping.

I was contacted with an offer of less than fair market value for my property, but I can’t tell if the offer is from Iowa DOT or another source. What should I do?

Iowa DOT never offers less than fair market value for property. Currently, the Office of Right-of-Way is not actively conducting acquisitions for the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program and is not directly contacting property owners. This process will not take place until a final design for the remaining segments of the reconstruction program is determined. If you have been contacted regarding selling your property and are confused about whether this is an offer from the DOT, do not hesitate to call our Public Information Officer at (712) 326-3712 to clarify.