Roads beginning to reopen
Roads are beginning to reopen in the area after being closed from flooding last week.
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s 511ia.org Web site, roads still closed due to flooding include: IA 22 (Muscatine) between IA 39 and I280 (Buffalo); and U.S. 136 (near Keokuk) is closed on U.S. 61. Highway 92 by Columbus Junction and Highway 22 west of Kalona have reopened to traffic.
Washington County still has several roads closed because of flooding, but crews from the Washington County Engineer’s Department are working on getting them reopened.
“We’re continuing to work on fixing stuff,” said Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius. “Today, we’re working in the Kalona and Riverside area.”
Dogwood Avenue, south of the county line at Bunker Hill Bridge, near Wellman, and Riverside Road have a lot of damage to their shoulders, Thorius said.
“We’re working on building the shoulder back up with rock on Bunker Hill Road,” he said. “On Riverside Road we’re putting in flowable concrete to build back up the shoulder areas that were washed away. There are 18-inch voids where the material was washed away.”
Over the weekend Thorius came out and looked at the damage to Riverside Road to try to get a head start planning the repairs. While he was there Saturday he saw at least one vehicle drive around the barricades and the excavator to the other side of Riverside Road.
“People want to take the shortest route possible and are being impatient,” he said. “I’m hoping we have Riverside Road and Willow area open by the end of the day today.”
The cost of the repairs will probably be more than the $20,000 to $40,000 Thorius estimated last Thursday because the damage is worse than he originally thought.
“I would say it’s a little bit more than we had last year,” he said.
The rainy weather has also delayed the other road construction projects in the county. Crooked Creek has been higher than anticipated, so the work on the Wayland Road bridge has been delayed, and on Vine Avenue/Old 218 there is still slope work to do, Thorius said.
There is more rain predicted for Monday afternoon/evening and later this week, according to the National Weather Service’s seven-day forecast for Washington.
“I’m hoping this new rain doesn’t affect us,” Thorius said. “We just want things to get back to normal.”