In Floods on June 10, 2008 at 8:30 pm
Water is rising to historic levels in Cedar Rapids; there are 1,000 thousand things happening; but at least one thought remains with the CRANDIC Railway bridge just downstream from the Eighth Avenue bridge.
CRANDIC closed it to traffic on Tuesday evening, and now has parked about 20 hopper cars loaded with rock on the span, hoping the weight of the cars and rock will keep the bridge deck from breaking apart with the high water.
A rail bridge in Waterloo, without cars on it, broke apart on Tuesday.
CRANDIC’s marketing manager, Jeff Woods, has characterized the use of rail cars on bridges during floods as a debatable issue. Some think it’s a good idea, while others don’t: They don’t want to risk having to pick up the rail cars from the river should the flood water move the bridge off its piers, he said.
In Floods on June 10, 2008 at 1:16 am
State transportation officials Monday afternoon said they are monitoring the rising waters of Coralville Lake but don’t now expect the need to close Interstate 380 as they did for two weeks during flooding in 1993.
Cathy Cutler, transportation planner with the Iowa Department of Transportation in Cedar Rapids, noted Monday afternoon that Coralville Lake in July 1993 reached an elevation of 716.7, or two feet above its current projected crest of 714.7 feet expected on June 17.
Cutler noted water begins to lap on to the beams of northern abutments of the twin bridges on Interstate 380 when the lake water reaches 714 feet.
However, Bruce Brakke, the DOT’s bridge maintenance engineer in Ames, on Monday said the agency learned from the 1993 flood that it did not have to be “that concerned” when some of the bridges’ girders go under the water.
Brakke, who was among those who inspected the Interstate 380 bridges in the 1993 flood, said the lake water at that spot is “slow-moving” and that the Highway 965 bridge and a railroad bridge upstream help to screen out debris.
In 1993, the water was higher and covered more of underside of the Interstate 380 bridges, he added.