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September 13, 2011 / 74

The Missouri River Bridges Are STILL CLOSED!!!

This one’s for all you folks in the Eastern half of the nation – If you want to go to Nebraska, you need to cross the Missouri River at Omaha, or if you’re coming from the South, you need to cross the river BEFORE you get north of St Joseph.

Why? Because there is no open river crossing between Hwy 36 in St Joseph, and Omaha, and I 29 is STILL closed part of the way.

I’ve personally had to give directions to two motorists in the last couple of weeks who wanted to go to a campground in the Rulo/Falls City NE area, and who planned to cross either at Rulo, NE or at Rock Port, MO. Nope. Sorry. Can’t get there from here… or at least not going THAT way.

And they both said, “But we didn’t hear anything on the news about them still being closed!!!” (One was from Pennsylvania, the other from Tennessee.)

That’s when I have to explain to them that newsies, especially NETWORK newsies, have REALLY SHORT attention spans. And yesterday, I added that they have a FRESH set of floods to cover now in the North East – which is, after all, in a POPULATED area, not out here in the middle of nowhere where there are no people.

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I took a 5 hour round trip drive today up North. Yep… you guessed it. The bridges are still out, and Interstate 29 is still closed in the same two spots. (South of Glenwood, IA and North of Rockport, MO.) I took US 59 North from Craig, MO to I 80, then West to Omaha. Coming back, I drove I 29 from Omaha to Glenwood, then hwy 34 E to Hwy 59 then South. That route is a little bit faster than using Hwy 59 all the way.

A word of advice in Iowa – the increased traffic volumes have the Smoky Bears ALL EXCITED!!! Saw two of them with cars pulled over. With the speed limit at 55 mph for most of the way, that’s what you could call a guaranteed revenue enhancer!

The water is going down – but that’s one of those iffy “good things”. As the highways are being exposed, so are the holes. There are a few “new lakes”, and what appeared on the TV news to be a new channel for part of the Mighty MO – right across the old highway. One of the new lakes is reported to be 30 to 40 feet deep – and rather large as such things go. And at least one of the new “channels” may have to have a new bridge built across it. So the damage is significant.

And when you consider that there’s a good possibility that had the Army corpse of “engineers” simply managed the upstream “damn” system better – there might have been either no flood, or a much smaller one would have happened. This year under the government’s management, in my opinion, it is possible the flood did more damage and lasted longer than if there had been NO “flood control” dams at all! Something to think about the next time the US Federal govamint offers to “help” you.


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