It's taken three years, but a new bridge that will have a big impact on traffic in central Iowa is almost ready to open.

The Ames flyover bridge is expected to see traffic for the first time the week of September 9. The Iowa-Iowa State football game is that Saturday, September 14 in Ames. The bridge, which will connect northbound I-35 to westbound Highway 30 southeast of Ames, is one of the most expensive bridge projects the Iowa Department of Transportation has ever been involved with. The total price tag is $23 million.

One of the biggest reasons the bridge has taken so long to open is six pillars had to be rebuilt last year after it was determined they weren't up to specifications. According to Iowa State Daily, one of the problems was the pillars were several inches off their required height. The construction company absorbed all the extra costs involved with the changes.

The current I-35/Highway 30 interchange was built six decades ago and was designed to handle approximately 20 percent of the number of vehicles that actually use it today. Iowa DOT District One Construction Engineer Jesse Tibodeau told WHO,

The driving factor for the project was safety. We wanted to address the crashes that were happening on Northbound I-35 at the loops. So this project, when it's open, will remove all the weaving and moving on the interstate.