Iowa has contracted with two companies to remove debris from Interstates 29 and 680 as floodwaters recede.
Cleanup of Interstate 29 in the Hamburg area is expected to cost less than $200,000, said Bob Younie, state maintenance engineer for the Iowa TransportationDepartment.
The cleanup of Interstates 29 and 680 at Omaha is expected to cost considerably more, he said. Younie did not immediately have that amount available.
He said it is too early to say what the total cost will be or when the Interstates will reopen because they remain flooded.
Missouri River levels have begun dropping as the Army Corps of Engineers lowers releases from its six major dams upstream.
A significant factor driving both the cost and the work schedule will be the extent of damage to two Interstate bridges at Hamburg, Younie said.
If at least one bridge is sound, both lanes of traffic can be routed across it. That would allow I-29 to reopen earlier than if both bridges are damaged, he said. Rick Bennett of the Missouri Department of Transportation said that state is estimating between $5 million and $10 million in damage to its roads. Interstate 29 is not damaged in Missouri, but other state and county roads are.
TEK Builders of Mount Ayr, Iowa, successfully bid about $184,000 to remove debris near Hamburg. In the Omaha area, Andersen Construction of Council Bluffs successfully bid about $646,000 to remove debris from I-29 and I-680.
Plastic plastic bottles, trees, to cornstalks and dead fish are strewn about the highway, said Scott Suhr of the state transportation department.
"You name it, it's there," he said.
The contracts include washing clean the highway.
Contact the writer: