UPDATE: Highway 1 to open soon - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Highway 1 to open soon

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LINN COUNTY (KWWL) -

The Iowa Department of Transportation tells KWWL that crews working to fix a bridge on Highway 1 north of Mount Vernon began a day ahead of schedule. 


Work is going well and the highway could re-open as soon as Wednesday.


The highway has been closed for two weeks since flooding washed away part of the road causing a giant hole.


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It's been two weeks since heavy rain washed away part of Highway 1 in Linn County, but the road still hasn't reopened yet because the damage is worse than expected.

The giant hole caused problems for people who live around Highway 1 near Mount Vernon. They had to find new ways to get around.

"I have a friend who lives in Amber and works in Cedar Rapids and he usually takes Highway 1, but now he's gotta go all the way down to 151 and find a way," said Elizabeth Askew, who lives in Mount Vernon.

Weeks later, those detours are still necessary. The damage appears fixed, the hole is now gone but the problem is underneath.

"We thought we were going to be able to contract with the local contractor that was doing the resurfacing work on Highway 1, but when the bridge crew got out there and the water went down, we could see that there was actually scouring underneath the bridge," said Cathy Cutler with the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The Iowa DOT says it's hard to prevent damage like that, and believes the situation could have been worse.

"It's just when the water comes up so fast that we encounter these issues," said Cutler. "By design we typically protect the bridge so we'd just as soon the roadway wash away because that's an easier repair. So we try not to ever have a bridge get damaged, but sometimes the water flow and velocity is just so great that it undermines those bridges."

Work on the bridge should start Wednesday, depending on weather, and will take a few days.

The Iowa DOT hopes to have the highway reopened by next week.

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