River rising in Columbus Junction

City leaders consider closing major highway into town

By Krista Burris | kburris@whbf.com

Published 09/28 2016 08:20PM

Updated 09/28 2016 08:20PM

Flooding may force one small community to shut down one of the main highways into town.

City leaders in Columbus Junction, Iowa are considering closing Highway 92.

That could cause some headaches for people trying to get to work and school.

“It’s going to impact a lot of the local businesses,” Sasha Marin.

Sasha Marin lives in Columbus Junction.        

She says if the Cedar River floods causing highway 92 to close, it will hurt her own business.

“I own a photography studio just outside of town, and I’ve got a weekend full of fall sessions and it’s my busiest time of year,” said Marin.

The public works director says for right now they’re only going to have HESCO barriers on this side of the highway, but if it continues to rise, they’re going to have to put them out in the street as well.

“We just rather be safe than sorry, so instead of just lining the shoulder and it possibly backing up and then coming around the end of it, we just made the decision that we will probably shut down the highway and keep all the water out,” said Public Works Director Todd Salazar.

Columbus Junction Mayor Daniel Wilson says he understands how the closure could affect people trying to get to school and work.

“We’re going to communicate with Tyson in particular because they have a large workforce. As to the road closure and when we think that might happen, so it affects their people getting to and from work,” said Wilson.

But he says the closure would be short and isolated.

They’re looking at possibly shutting down Highway 92 late Thursday or early Friday, and opening it back up on Sunday.

“It can be closed very quickly. It’s not a situation where we’ll need volunteers for sandbagging and things like that, and at the current projected levels, we don’t see any other places in the community where there will be an impact,” said Wilson.

Marin says closing 92 would be a headache, but they went through worse with major flooding in 2008.

“It’ll probably affect a lot of us in a small way, but it’s short term, and we can deal with it,” said Marin.

Keeping a close eye to the river, and hoping Mother Nature allows them to keep one of the city’s main roadways open.           

City leaders say people can check for road closures on the city’s website and Facebook page.

They’re considering closing the road as early as tomorrow night or Friday morning.


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