Interstate 29 is expected to be open from Sioux City, Iowa, to Kansas City by mid-October, Iowa roads officials announced Friday.
Dena Gray-Fisher, spokeswoman for the Iowa Transportation Department, said flood cleanup and repairs, some of them temporary, were nearly complete.
“We really appreciate the public's patience,” she said. “A lot of the things (were) just Mother Nature having to take its course.”
No immediate cost estimate for the repairs was available.
Interstate 29 remains closed from about Pacific Junction, Iowa, to Rock Port, Mo. A 16-mile Iowa stretch of I-29 from Loveland to Council Bluffs reopened Sept. 23.
The most significant damage was to two parallel bridges near Hamburg, Iowa, one of which will become functional after minor repairs while the other will require more significant work.
Routing traffic through that area is the last step to reopening the Interstate, she said.
Temporary repairs are being made to the southbound bridge and contractors are building crossover lanes so north- and southbound traffic can share it.
“As soon as the contractor gets the repairs done to that bridge, we can open it. It'll be sometime in the first part of October,” Gray-Fisher said. “We're working very hard to get it done.”
Other than the bridge crossing, she said, all lanes will be open, and at regular speeds.
Beyond those bridges, the department has made mostly minor repairs: hauling away tree limbs, railroad ties, caked mud and other debris and replacing roadway shoulders.
Some work, such as repairing ditches, won't be completed until the Interstate is open.
And some interchanges will still be closed when I-29 opens, Gray-Fisher said. Interstate 680 west of I-29 will still be under construction.
The interchanges at Iowa Highway 2 near Nebraska City and at Highway 333 near Hamburg will remain closed because water still covers parts of those roads. She said the department aims to open all by year's end.
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