Highway 333 reopens

(Council Bluffs) -- KMAland's transportation system took another step toward post-flood recovery Thursday afternoon.

Iowa Department of Transportation officials announced that Highway 333 reopened to traffic between Hamburg and Interstate 29. Scott Suhr is District 4 planner for the Iowa Department of Transportation. Suhr tells KMA News the highway's reopening comes after painstaking renovations following severe flooding damage.

"There was some significant roadway damage," said Suhr. "There was also some damage that was done to the bridge approaches in that area. Once that water finally receded, crews have been working down there to make those necessary repairs."

333's reopening follows that of Highway 275 south of Hamburg. While those two highways are back in service, some interchanges along I-29 in Fremont County are a different story. Suhr says both the Bartlett and McPaul ramps remain closed due to remaining flooding issues.

"Some of those ramps currently remain underwater at this time," he said. "Then, there's a fair amount of damage that's been done to those ramps. I know that we're looking into making repairs this fall--if weather allows. But, I know there was a significant amount of damage to those ramps."

And, repairs continue to parts of Highways 2 and 34, which were partially reopened to traffic. Suhr says progress is reported on 34.

"On Highway 34, we're close to opening up the second westbound lane going into Nebraska," said Suhr. "We're just waiting for Nebraska DOT to finish up getting the sand that was used as a berm to hold the water off of U.S. 34 off the roadway, and make any necessary repairs they need to do."

But, he says it will be a few years before Highway 2 is fully operational.

"We've currently got traffic head-to-head in the westbound lane," he said, "as we're working on building the overflow bridges on the eastbound lanes. Then, once the eastbound lanes are completed, we'll shift traffic over to the eastbound lanes in the head-to-head format, and we'll begin working on the westbound lanes. And, this particular project is a two-to-three year project that we're talking about."

Additionally, flood mitigation work continues on I-29 at two locations in Pottawattamie County hit hard by flooding this past spring and summer. With winter approaching, Suhr recommends motorists keep up to date on the latest flood repairs by checking the DOT's travel conditions website, 511ia.org.