ATLANTIC, Iowa- The Iowa DOT has reopened the I-29 route from Glenwood, all the way into Missouri, after flood water closed the road for a second time this year.
The road was open but with a 12 foot width restriction. The road is narrow in some spots due to shoulder damaged by the flood water. Also the exits south of Glenwood to towns like Pacific Junction, Percival, and Sidney all remain closed due to flooding.
“There was some significant damage however, most of the stuff that we did as far as repairs from March event held in place we did have to go through and replace some shoulders,” said DOT District Transportation Planner, Scott Suhr. “At the US 34 interchange the only place to get fuel, you would have to going to Glenwood on US 34 because the two truck stops that are on the intersection of I 29 US are currently closed.
The DOT is also working on connecting roads like Highway 2 in far southwest Iowa, where they will be building additional bridges east of the current bridge to help make more space for the water to pass under.
“Right now the pinch point is kind of in this area here, and what happens is water will back up into this area and eventually overcast over top of Iowa 2,” said Suhr. “The plan is we’re gonna let this project on July 2, and we’re hoping to get started sometime in August.
The project would cost $30-$50 million dollars, being paid for from Iowa and federal funds. Completion would be in late 2021, or 2022.
Suhr said the Iowa DOT is close to reopening highway 34 west of Glenwood to Nebraska.
We’re kind of waiting for the water to go down on the Nebraska side, once it does we can probably open up to some capacity US 34,” said Suhr. “That will be huge because the folks that live down in the Iowa 2 area are having to take an hour and a half to two hour detour every day.”
The floods has seen a number of businesses still closed along the I-29 corridor, including truck stops, and motels, some are still underwater on Highway 2.
Highway 333 remains closed to I-29 at Hamburg. DOT inspectors still have not been able to inspect flood damage there, as the road has remained under water since mid-March.
South of Glenwood on I-29 there are no exits for travelers all the way into Missouri. There are no stops for gas stations or food. The Iowa DOT is sending the Highway Helper there from Council Bluffs two times per day to check for motorists who made need assistance.