HEARTLAND FLOOD: Navigating the newly reopened Highway 34

We're gradually getting our mobility back as road repairs press forward in the aftermath of the floods.

Highway 34 is back open from Nebraska into Iowa and Lileana Pearson is traveling the highway Sunday for a look at what you can expect if you're going to put 34 back into your navigation plans.

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced the reopening to Interstate 29 on Friday.

It had been closed since late May due to a second round of flooding.

A word of caution though, drivers should expect continued road work and occasional lane closures as crews put finishing touches on repairs.

The reopening of the highway will unclog some of the traffic congestion in the area.

This is the second time since the start of the flooding that 34 has reopened and traffic was quick to populate the pavement.

It was opened once before, over Memorial Day weekend, but closed just days later after a second round of flooding.

The closure of the road blocked people from homes they were getting ready to rebuild and further destroyed the highway that was already damaged.

The Iowa Department of Transportation says they have finished road repairs but are keeping the highway down to two lanes because the Army Corps of Engineers needs the other side to finish levee repairs.

Several drivers we spoke with said that having the road open cuts 20 minutes off their daily commute. IDOT says they don’t have a timeline on when all four lanes will open but they are hopeful the road will remain accessible.

IDOT’s Austin Yates said, “I don't want to say that we're out of the danger for the rest of the season but for the next several weeks we don't have any hesitation at this point. This hot weather, everything is drying up. Council Bluffs as well as further south. By highway 2 it's drying up down there. We were able to start getting in and repairing things."

Even though the highway is open we also met plenty of drivers passing through who say the lack of gas stations on nearby Interstate 29 is an issue. One family ran out of gas just miles from Glenwood gas stations. From Council Bluffs, its more than 50 miles before a gas station on I-29.


Highway 34