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DOT working to get traffic moving again in western Iowa


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Sept. 2, 2011 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has set a proactive course to get traffic moving again in western Iowa just as quickly as possible now that the Missouri River flood waters are beginning to recede. A multitude of activities are underway, some are behind the scenes and others are already visible. For instance, contractors started this week removing tons of debris and power washing the sticky layer of muck from sections of Interstate 29 in Fremont and Pottawattamie counties. Yesterday, the I-29 and Hamilton Boulevard in Woodbury County was fully reopened to travel.

Because there is a lot a work ahead, the Iowa DOT will be providing regular updates to the public regarding damage assessments and progress being made to restore travel. Communications will be provided via news releases, posting of progress updates and photos on the Iowa DOT’s flood information website (http://www.iowadot.gov/floods/index.html), and by other means. The Iowa DOT is examining a wide range of options and innovative approaches to expedite the recovery process. Timetables and cost estimates will be provided when that information becomes available.

Each highway segment impacted by the flooding has unique characteristics and challenges, so the Iowa DOT’s public information efforts will frequently focus on specific sites and activities underway in those areas. Due to safety concerns and reconstruction activities involving heavy equipment, public access beyond the road closure barricades and to the damaged sites is restricted.

Intermittent lane closures on I-680 in Pottawattamie County begin Sept. 27


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa DOT say road construction work on Interstate 680 between I-29 (exit 71) near Loveland and I-80 (exit 27) north of Neola will cause intermittent lane closures in both directions beginning Tuesday, Sept. 27th, weather permitting.  The project is expected to be completed by mid-October.

Bridge construction work on eastbound I-80 in Pottawattamie County begins Sept. 12


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluffs construction office reports bridge construction work on Interstate 80 between Pottawattamie County Road M-16 (exit 34) near Shelby and U.S. 59 (exit 40) near Avoca will cause lane closures in the outside lane beginning Monday, Sept. 12th, weather permitting . The project is expected to be completed by early October.

Minor injuries reported after pickup and semi collide


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A pickup truck was totaled and its driver suffered possible, minor injuries, after the vehicle collided with a semi this (Friday) morning, in Montgomery County. Sheriff’s officials say 41-year old Ronald Paul Lyons, Jr., of Beaumont, TX, was transported to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital by Red Oak Rescue, following the crash at around 8-a.m. about half-way between Red Oak and Emerson.

Authorities said Lyons pulled his 2002 Ford F-150 pickup off of the traveled portion of Highway 34 in a turning lane, that would allow a vehicle to turn right off of the highway, without impeding the flow of traffic. As Lyons attempted to conduct a left hand turn, his truck collided with the center portion of a westbound, passing semi-tractor trailer. Following the impact, the pickup ricocheted off of the semi, and came to rest in the ditch at the intersection of Highway 34 and County Road M-37 (Boxelder Avenue).

The driver of the semi, 47-year old Jeffrey Arnold, of Kahoka, MO., locked up the brakes on the cab and trailer. The tractor-trailer slid across the intersection and came to rest on the pavement, facing westbound. Arnold was not injured in the crash, but the 1997 Peterbilt semi he was driving sustained $5,000 damage to a drive axle and fuel tank assembly.

The pickup, valued at $12,000, was a total loss. The sheriff’s report did not indicate if any citations were issued.

Scrap yard fire in Atlantic


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Fire Department responded to a report of a possible vehicle explosion this (Friday) morning, at the local scrap metal recycling plant. The call about a fire at Frederiksen Iron Recycling at 607 Sunnyside Lane, came in just after 11-a.m.

Fire department  officials say workers at the facility were working on a car that was being scrapped, when a fire broke out. There were reports a small explosion, possibly related to a fuel tank rupture, could be heard across the street from the business. Workers at the recycling facility typically punch holes in a fuel tank before a vehicle is crushed or recycled, to prevent such a incident.

The fire was quickly extinguished, and no injuries were reported.

Exira Middle School Teacher Suspended Until Further Notice


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Superintendent of the Exira-Elk Horn Kimballton School District says a 5th grade teacher has been placed on indefinite suspension, following an incident which allegedly occurred late last month in a classroom. KCCI-TV in Des Moines reports the unidentified teacher was suspended s a result of something he said in front of his fifth-grade class. Parents met with administrators of the school district to discuss the teacher’s behavior, Thursday night.

District Superintendent Dean Schnoes told KCCI the district sent a letter home with parents explaining the situation, but the letter didn’t mention the specifics of the incident.

Schnoes said he “Decided that the individual needed to be suspended until further notice.” Schnoes said a concerned parent called the Exira middle school principal on August 24th.

Aaime Lyle said her daughter told her the teacher threatened to harm himself if the class wouldn’t be quiet. She said her daughter was among 25 fifth-graders in the classroom. Lyle said it was a full week before she learned of the alleged incident from her daughter. According to the girl, the teacher asked the students not to tell.

Schnoes said the students aren’t in danger. He said as part of the investigation, the Audubon County Sheriff’s Office was called in to search for weapons, but none were found. No charges have been filed. The school district also had a counselor talk to the students the next day.

Schnoes said the investigation is ongoing, and even when it’s complete, he said he will likely have to consult with the School Board before the teacher is allowed back in the classroom.

Water releases stable on Missouri River as levees are checked for damage


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Missouri River at Yankton, South Dakota, is now just above 20-feet after maxing out at 26-feet back in early July and remaining there through August. The river dropped below flood stage at Sioux City, Iowa, last week. Dave Becker, operations manager of Gavins Point Dam at Yankton, says releases from the dam have been cut from a record 160-thousand cubic feet per second at the peak down to 90-thousand, where they’re holding.


Becker says, “The primary purpose of staying at 90,000 is really so everybody can take a look at their facilities, the levees, the berms, their sandbag walls, all those kinds of things and make sure that everything is in really good condition.” Becker says the lower releases and the pause will allow the inspection of the dam itself in and near the river.

“Everything is going well, thus far,” he says. “I talk to people every day who are assessing their property and their situation. It’s good that we have this pause in here so people can see what needs to be done at this point and possibly react before we start going down further.” The U-S Army Corps of Engineers had to do a lot of re-rocking of river banks close to the dam during the high water as erosion was blasting it away. Becker says there have been no surprises.

“We have not had any catastrophic issues,” he says. “A lot of minor wear-and-tear things will take some time to get fixed up and we’re starting to fix those already.” Thousands of acres of farmland and dozens of homes were flooded for most of the summer in Iowa and Nebraska as the Corps worked to move record amounts of snow melt and heavy upstream rain down the Missouri.

(Radio Iowa)

Intermittent lane closures on I-80 near Walnut to begin Sept. 6th


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluffs construction office reports road construction work on Interstate 80, between the Missouri River bridge at the Iowa state line in Council Bluffs, and Cass County Road M-56 (exit 51) east of Walnut, will cause intermittent lane closures in both directions beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6th, weather permitting.

This project is expected to be completed by late September.

Lane restrictions on I-80 between Earlham and Clive begin Sept. 8th


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DOT’s Creston construction office says Median cable barrier installation work will reduce Interstate 80 to one lane in both directions, between Dallas County roads F-90 and P-58 (exit 106) east of Earlham, and I-35/I-235 (exit 123) in Clive beginning Thursday, Sept. 8th, weather permitting

Eastbound I-80 lanes will be open from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Westbound lanes of I-80 will be open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Both directions of I-80 will be open from 3 p.m. Fridays until 9 p.m. Sundays. There is a 16-foot width lane restriction in the open lanes. It’s expected the project will be completed Nov. 8th.

The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

7AM Newscast 09-02-2011

News, Podcasts

September 2nd, 2011 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson