Spring flooding along the Missouri River in 2019 caused major damage to roads and bridges in Missouri and Nebraska as well as to the homes of residents in Rulo, Big Lake, Fortescue, and Craig, MO. Local drivers who often crossed into Missouri were having to find alternative routes.
Near record flood levels along the Missouri River closed U.S. 159 and U.S. 136 near Brownville. The roads were expected to be closed for over a year while
Missouri Department of Transportation crews went to work on several bridges on MO US Route 159.
The Little Tarkio Creek Bridge – just west of Fortescue was listed as a complete loss. The bridge needed a complete replacement by the contractor. After closing due to damage from flooding that began in March of 2019, the replacement of the Little Tarkio Creek Bridge on U.S. Route 159 between Route 111 (Lake Shore Drive) and Route P is now complete. Contractors from Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc., working with the Missouri Department of Transportation, began work on the damaged bridge in early September 2019.
During the construction of the Little Tarkio Creek Bridge, a new overpass was also constructed over Interstate 29 and construction on the Holt County U.S. Route 159 bridge over Penny Slu, west of Route 111 near Fortescue, was also completed. Contractors from Boone Construction Co., working with the Missouri Department of Transportation, began a project to replace the bridge deck in mid-June and recently reopened the Penny Slu bridge.
All bridges have now been completed.
After facing delays due to weather and continued flooding, crews were able to complete the bridge project.
Nebraska residents will no longer need to take a detour to get to I-29.