This afternoon, I made one of my "Tour de Bluffs" rides. I stopped at the entrance to the new Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
Lots of folks using the bridge. One couple came off the bridge riding their bikes, trying to decide where to go from there. I explained the trails North and South from the bridge. It was their first time riding on the Iowa side of the river.
Adding to my ride, crossed the bridge to explore the Nebraska side of the river. I rode to the Heartland of America Park - first time I had been there.
At Lewis & Clark Landing, a couple on their bikes obviously playing "tourist". It was the first time the Iowa couple had been on the Omaha riverfront.
While finishing my ride, I thought about what I had experienced. What does the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge mean to Council Bluffs and Omaha? There sure has been "nay-sayers".
Since I moved to the area in 1986, Iowa folks go to Omaha when needed - shopping, work, etc. Many Nebraskas would only drive though Council Bluffs en route to Chicago, KC, or other destinations. The only way across the river was driving the Interstate or across old, open grating bridges. The Missouri River has divided our community.
Now, me and my friends are looking forward to riding BICYCLES across the river for dinner. I am seeing more riders on the Council Bluffs trails - there has to be more traffic through businesses on the Iowa side of the River.
The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is much more than a bridge across the Missouri River. It is a bridge connecting peoples, cities, and states.