Reopening of Chester Bridge will alleviate traffic woes
Springfield, Ill. – Based on input from the Alexander County Highway Department, the Alexander County Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), sections of Illinois Route 3 will be closed in the East Cape Girardeau area due to rising floodwaters. This weekend, multiple state and local agencies conducted an extensive feasibility study and determined the continued closure will be necessary to ensure the life and safety of all traveling in the area.
Starting immediately, IL Route 3 will be closed to traffic from McClure to the intersection of 146 and from that intersection on to and from Gale in one direction and to and from the eastern edge of East Cape Girardeau in another.
- The Mississippi River can still be crossed going westbound out of East Cape Girardeau
- The Chester Bridge in Randolph County and the Cairo Bridge in southern Alexander County are open allowing traffic to and from Illinois into Missouri.
The State of Illinois has experienced an unprecedented flood event characterized not only by more than 100 days of the major flooding along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, but also, in contrast to the record floods of 1993, the affected has sustained inland saturation. As a result, solutions that prevented this closure 26-years-ago are not a viable option today. Authorities confirm this section of road will remain closed until conditions allow for it to reopen.
“For the duration of this flood event, IDOT and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) have worked hand-in-hand with local and county officials to ensure the communities affected by this disaster have access to every resource that can be brought to bear to fight this historic flood,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “This fight has required a prolonged focus on ensuring critical community lifelines, such as transportation corridors like Illinois Route 3 to remain open to traffic for as long as safely-possible. However, given the continued elevated levels of the Mississippi River, coupled with recent heavy rainfall, this is no longer a viable option.”
The American Red Cross is operating a shelter is in Cape Girardeau, Missouri at Zion United Methodist Church, 3652 State Highway Z for those to whom this closure would pose a significant burden. Services offered by the American Red Cross are free of charge. Additionally, IEMA has stationed a Joint Quick Reactionary Taskforce in the area to help with emergency flood operations, including levee monitoring/security, emergency evacuations and medical related needs.
Throughout the state, IDOT and IEMA continue to assist communities by providing pumps, sandbags, manpower and additional resources to address flooding. An updated list of road closures is available on the IDOT website at www.idot.illinois.gov
and through the interactive map on www.gettingaroundillinois.com