A 9-mile stretch of Interstate 35 south of Des Moines remains closed due to a damaged bridge, but it should reopen sometime Thursday. An overpass on I-35 northbound was struck just before 6 p.m. Monday by construction equipment being hauled on a trailer.

Bob Younie, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Maintenance, says the damaged portion of the bridge needs replaced. “Our intentions are to tear down the unsafe part of the bridge by the end of this Thursday and get traffic back onto I-35,” Younie says.

The overpass is located just north of Cumming in Warren County. Only the northbound lanes of I-35 are affected. The nine-mile stretch will be reopened once the unsafe section of the bridge is removed.

Younie says the contractor will work on reconstructing the bridge while I-35 is open to traffic. “There will likely be periodic closures to set the bridge beams on the bridge. We can’t have traffic driving under when that happens, but it will be taken care of during off hours or evenings,” Younie said.

The detour, which adds about eight miles to a motorist’s trip, follows highways 92 and 28 through Norwalk to Highway 5, which connects back with the interstate in West Des Moines. Monday’s mishap marks the third time since March an interstate bridge in Iowa has been hit by an oversized load.