With Missouri River flood waters slowly receding, Iowa Department of Transportation officials must now deal with damage done to Interstates 29 and 680 near the Omaha metro area. D-O-T spokesperson Dena Gray-Fisher says some areas will have to be drained manually. Once it is clear of water they will be able to see the condition of the pavement. If the roadway looks partially sound they will use ground penetrating ultra-sound equipment that tests the condition of the road. They look for voids under the pavement because they want to make sure it is able to withstand the weight of heavy trucks.
For months there have been huge sandbag berms placed along some sections of roads, including Highway 30 leading from Missouri Valley, Iowa to Blair, Nebraska. Gray-Fisher says those big sandbags will be torn open and the sand released. They will bring in large loaders that will haul the sand away.
As far as a time table for when some of these roads will reopen, Gray-Fisher says starting in about ten days they will be able to see some of the pavement emerge and can start to see what the true picture is. A timetable for repair and reconstruction can’t be developed until inspections are complete. Areas of concern include I-680 north of Council Bluffs that goes over the Mormon Bridge into Omaha. I-29 south of Glenwood is also a concern because it has been underwater for over two months.