The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

IDOT continues to pay attention to Interstate 380 bridge over Coralville Lake: rising water “will not necessarily require” closure

In Floods on June 11, 2008 at 6:02 pm

An Iowa Department of Transportation bridge engineer early Wednesday afternoon said the rising waters of Coralville Lake “will not necessarily require” the closure of Interstate 380 and its bridge over the lake.

On Monday, the IDOT reported it did not expect it would need to close the bridge, which the agency did for two weeks during the 1993 floods.

However, Dave Claman, a bridge engineer for the state agency, said early Wednesday afternoon that the IDOT continues to look at the bridge closely because the prediction for the crest of Coralville Lake continues to rise.

In 1993, the water reached 716.7 feet, and Claman said the latest forecast now is for the water level to reach 715.7 feet on June 19.

Not only is that level a foot lower than in 1993, he noted, but he added, that the agency learned that that the higher 1993 level did not damage the bridge.

“Learning from that experience, it would be less likely we would close the bridge even if it (the water level) gets within a foot of the 1993 level,” he said. “But that’s a monitoring decision.”

Claman said any decision to close the Interstate 380 bridge wouldn’t come until closer to the time Coralville Lake is nearing its crest. He noted, too, that the crest prediction always could move higher.

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