Nine major highways in Iowa remain closed because of damage from June flooding. Dena Gray-Fisher with the Iowa Department of Transportation says one of the closed sections of highway will reopen tomorrow.
That involves U.S. 18 near the Floyd/Chickasaw County line. Crews repaired damaged pavement and added paved shoulders to protect the roadway from future washouts.
Most of the other roads damaged by flooding may not reopen until this fall. “The project that will probably take the longest is up in Fort Atkinson, where the bridge was damaged there,” Gray-Fisher said. “We’re hoping all of those road segments, including that bridge, will be open before harvest time.” At the peak of the flood and tornado damage, 149 sections of the state’s primary highway system were closed.
Gray-Fisher says crews are still working to tally up the damage. She says the D.O.T. will likely submit a dollar estimate on the damage to the Federal Highway Administration during the first week in August. Meanwhile, the agency has compiled a long list of statistics outlining their response to the storm disasters.
Gray-Fisher says 783 employees have logged some long hours doing debris clean-up in places like Parkersburg, Cedar Rapids and Louisa County. “The highway division employees have expended 45,000 hours working on disaster response and recovery,” Gray-Fisher said. “For instance, work continues in Oakville where debris is being cleaned up and removed.”
The D.O.T. has also conducted 214 bridge inspections, used nearly 25-thousand tons of rock for road repairs and delivered nearly seven million sandbags and 134 pumps to affected communities.