For travelers in western Iowa tired of taking a flood detour, the Iowa Department of Transportation is planning for the re-opening of Interstate 29. But the D.O.T. maintenance director, Bob Younie, is honest in giving a timeline for the reopening..
“We don’t know, the easy answer is we don’t know,” Younie says, “but we are working on a plan for what we can see that’s damaged, and we will explore what we can’t see that’s covered with water as soon as we can.” Younie expects to re-open I-29 near Hamburg first, which would trigger a re-opening in Missouri which has closed the interstate at Rock Port, because of the flooding in southern Iowa.
He says the water will eventually go down and then they will clear the debris, repair the roadways, and investigate to find any damage. Younie says they’ve already put together a comprehensive list of the areas that could have been damaged by the flood. Younie says there are some areas where it is certain they will have work to do.
Younie says they are positive they have pavement damage on the 680 bridge from water flowing over the road and it will take awhile to get that repaired. He says they are working with Nebraska for the 175 bridge at Decatur to determine what they have to do to ensure public safety. Younie says he cannot give an exact timeline for re-opening the interstate.
“At this point I think I’m just talking what I wish would happen, I can’t say anything definitive,” Younie says. He says they will know more once they get the Corps of Engineers water release schedule. Younie says he is positive that they will get I-29 open before the end of the year.
The interstate was closed in early June after the Missouri River floodwaters rose.
By Brent Martin