NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (AP) - Business owners and area residents celebrated Monday's reopening of the Iowa Highway 2 link into Nebraska City, which was closed for more than four months by Missouri River flooding.
The flooding forced closure of Interstate 29 as well as nearby stretches of Highway 2. The closings added an hour or more to a daily hop over the bridge between the two states, so some people who commuted into or out of the southeast Nebraska community had to find special overnight accommodations.
On Monday, an estimated line of vehicles a half-mile long stretched out before Highway 2 was reopened a little after 4 p.m. The reopening followed a ribbon-cutting ceremony at which some people carried signs that read "Welcome Back."
Iowa reopened I-29 lanes in the area earlier this month. Robert Hines was one of the long-distance commuters, driving about 150 miles a day to get from his home in Hamburg, Iowa, to his job at American Meter Co. in Nebraska City.
"I was spending $600 a month in gas, and that's not counting repairs and tires," Hines told the Lincoln Journal Star
"It's like Christmas, seeing all that," said Brad Buckingham as cars and trucks whizzed by the Sapp Bros. truck stop he manages just west of I-29.
The eastbound lanes of Iowa Highway 2 were reopened to two-way traffic, and the westbound lanes were expected to be back in business by the weekend.