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Iowa DOT still looking over flood damage to western Iowa roads & bridges

News, Weather

August 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation are hoping they don’t hear the word “flood” for years to come. Iowa D-O-T spokeswoman Dena Gray-Fisher says they are still in the process of surveying the damages done to roadways across western Iowa that have been underwater for more than two months.  “An inventory of all of the assets that we have in the areas that are flooded,” Gray-Fisher says. “Those could be signs that might be damaged, the roadway, culverts, bridges. That’s kind of the first step.” Gray-Fisher says there is bridge damage at Hamburg Iowa along Interstate-29. There’s also a report of an 11-foot hole under a section of pavement that eroded. She says it’s too early to see if there’s damage to the Mormon Bridge between Omaha and Council Bluffs and to the bridge between Onawa, Iowa and Decatur, Nebraska, further to the north.

She says, “That is one area that we already know there’s a serious problem with some bridges there and that’s going to take some major repair work and it will likely prolong us getting back to a recovered state.” Gray-Fisher says the DOT is continuing to monitor the situation by air as the flood water is preventing crews from getting a close-up look at the damage.  “Some of the aerial visuals we’ve seen, we do know that damage has occurred, we just don’t know the extent until the waters go down and that will begin, more significantly, by the end of this month,” she says. Along with I-29, there are seven major Iowa roads closed due to flooding.

The Iowa side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that connects Council Bluffs and Omaha also remains closed.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)