Road crews still hope to open I-29 as soon as today (Friday)


October 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Department of Transportation officials said on Tuesday that the formerly-flooded Interstate-29 would reopen “later this week.” It’s now Friday and the agency has not yet released a timetable for the reopening. DOT engineer Bob Younie says they will open I-29 in southwest Iowa “soon,” even if only two lanes are driveable. “We will accept less than the four lanes that are there right now just to get folks moving and we’re willing to do that other work under traffic,” Younie says.

That 34-mile stretch of Interstate is the last remaining segment to reopen after a summer-long shutdown due to the record flooding of the Missouri River. Younie says I-29 may be reopening, but other segments of road linking Iowa and Nebraska will remain closed. “Iowa (Highway) 2, right underneath I-29, was pretty significantly damaged on the north side, the pavement was undermined,” he says. “We also have a section of roadway west of I-29, closer to the river, that had some damage also and it’s going to have to be reconstructed.”

Younie says he’s hoping to see Highway 2 repaired and open before Thanksgiving, linking up Iowa cities in the area like Hamburg and Sidney to Nebraska City, Nebraska.

(Radio Iowa)