The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is revising its estimate on how long the closure of Highway 82 on the Lansing Dike might take. The department now believes that the soonest the highway might open would be Thursday afternoon.
Highway 82 was closed to traffic at Highway 35 and at the Lansing, Iowa bridge on Friday, April 26. The road was closed because of concerns high water conditions in the Mississippi River could lead to a washout on a section of the highway that was washed out two years ago.
When small cracks were found in the pavement of that section on Friday, WDOT officials decided to “err on the side of caution” and proceed with an inspection to assure the safety of roadway.
A washout on May 30, 2017 that eroded material below the pavement led to the death of a motorist at the site, about a half-mile west of Highway 35. When the unsupported pavement collapsed, a Jeep Cherokee driven by James Walleser fell into the river. Walleser drown inside the vehicle in 20-feet of water.
On Monday, April 29, 2019, WDOT Highway Maintenance Specialist Peter Strachan said a crew doing borings was at the site and would work late. By Tuesday, the borings should be completed and the pipes and casings should be in place.
On Wednesday, initial inclinometermeasurements will be taken to create a baseline, according to Strachan. Then on Thursday, more measurements will be taken to see if there as been any movement or shifting in the soils below the pavement.The WDOT is also planning to have a sonar rig onsite Thursday to investigate the stability of the riverbank from underwater. If the tests confirm the roadway is safe, it will be re-opened.