I-680 in Iowa Severely Damaged by Floodwaters; Repairs to Take Months
August 31, 2011
As floodwaters recede from highways in Iowa, epic damage has been revealed along some stretches of roadway.
"I've never seen anything like it," said John Haas, director of Statewide Emergency Operations with the Iowa Department of Transportation. "I don't think any of engineers have either."
The 3-mile stretch on I-680 at the I-29 interchange down to the Missouri River has been nearly obliterated. Pavement is cracked and buckled into large chunks, giving the look of an intentional demolition project.
The impressively bad damage was caused not just by submersion for several weeks, but aldo by the continuous flow of water. The force of the river washed out any and all loose sediment, getting into cracks and leaving the pavement without support.
According to the Iowa DOT, it is too early to assess the cost of repairs, but early estimates indicate the most intensely damaged sections won't reopen until deep into next year. Many roads are still covered in water, which means more damage is likely to be discovered.
At this point, road closures remain unchanged. Closures include I-29 from mile 55 to mile 71, and I-680 miles zero to three. Everything south of U.S. 34 is closed to the Missouri state line.
Video of the damaged road can be seen at www.omaha.com