NEBRASKA CITY -- Iowa and Nebraska road officials re-opened Highway 2 at the Missouri River bridge at 10 a.m. on Friday.
David Lueth, a farmer from flood-stricken Percival, was first to cross. He said having the bridge open will save him an hour and a half commute twice a day.
Lueth: “It’s going to save me so much time because I have been going back to the farm and kayaking in and getting some of my work done. This is really going to save us a lot of time.”
The flooded stretch of the highway was re-opened by building a rock aggregate base where water was crossing the pavement. Road rock was placed on top of the base.
The road is open to trucks and cars, using one lane and a pilot car.
Once Lueth reaches an area near exit 15 on the recently opened Interstate 29, he switches to boat.
Lueth: “Right now we have the 20-foot river running through the breach and it’s running through probably a quarter mile of my farm ground, which is about three feet of water we have to kayak through.”
He said once the breach is repaired the water will begin to recede.
Lueth: “This little bit right here, with Highway 2 opening, is that small little step that gives us hope.”
He said most of the sand sediment around his farm buildings have been cleared, but there is significant loss of top soil.