Iowa DOT Officials Not Yet Concerned About I-380 Bridge Over Iowa River

By Hayley Bruce, Reporter

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Water from the Iowa River touches the bottom of the northbound bridge on Interstate 380 as water continues to back up behind the Coralville dam. Photo March 9, 1993.


By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation say they are not yet concerned that weather conditions will lead to the closure of Interstate 380 and other major routes, though flood water has closed one of the major entry points into Iowa City.

There is no cause for concern over closures at Interstate 380, Highway 6 bridge over the Iowa River, or Highway 965 just yet.
"It's not nearly high enough for us to even be worried about that (I-380)," said Cathy Cutler, planner with IOWA DOT district 6. "The only time there was a closure on 380 was back in 2008 and I don't anticipate there will be any need for any kind of closure."

As of Thursday afternoon, water levels at the Coralville Reservoir sat at 701.02 feet. Cutler said the DOT doesn't worry about needing to close the bridge on Interstate 380 until it gets closer to 715 feet above sea level. Assessing the water level at that bridge, Cutler said the water would need to rise 15 or 16 more feet before it would be an issue.

"There's not an issue now, and we don't anticipate there will be one," Cutler said.

Rick Fosse, public works director for Iowa City, said officials are not yet concerned about closures at the Highway 6 Bridge in Iowa City.

"It's too early for that," Fosse said, adding that the first bridge that typically closes during flooding issues is the Iowa River Bridge, which happens at roughly 21,400 cfs. Fosse said outflows at Coralville Lake would need to be increase to 27,000 cfs before the Highway 6 bridge is threatened with closure due to flooding.

As of Thursday afternoon, Dubuque Street in Iowa City was closed between Park and Foster Roads in Iowa City. The roadway will remain closed until the water levels drop in a few weeks.

Terry Zimmerman, with district 6 maintenance at the Iowa DOT, said the they are currently monitoring Highway 6 in Coralville and the Highway 6 bridge in Iowa City.

"Right now, we're not real concerned about it, but it depends what weather we get over the weekend," Zimmerman said. "Right now it's just a big guess."

Dan Holderness, Coralville city engineer, added that, though they are monitoring Highway 6, they aren't yet concerned for flooding in that area.

"We're not concerned at this point in time, we are definitely monitoring things," Holderness said. "But at this point in time we're a lot better off than we were in 2008 because we've been working hard on flood projects, but unfortunately they're not all done yet."

Holderness also said the nine functional pump stations the city has in place should help to reduce flooding of the highway in that area.
Johnson County Engineer Greg Parks said they are also monitoring Highway 965. Parks said Highway 965 isn't in danger of closing yet but if water levels rise to 714 feet, it may be threatened by flood waters next week.

For a complete list of road closures reported to us, click here.

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