The route to Rulo has reopened, once again. Missouri Department of Transportation officials report U.S. Route 159 from Route 111 at Big Lake across the Missouri River to Rulo, Nebraska has reopened after floodwaters had closed it a second time.

Floodwaters heavily damaged the Little Tarkio Creek Bridge/MoDOT photo

Work to replace the Little Tarkio Creek Bridge at Fortescue on U.S. Route 159 will likely not be completed until spring.

Now, both vital links between northwest Missouri and southeast Nebraska have reopened after being closed for much of the year due to the widespread and recurring flooding. Highway 136 to the north of U.S. Route 159 reopened about two weeks ago, reopening the route to Brownville, Nebraska cut off since March 15th.

MoDOT completed a work-around of the heavily flood damaged Little Tarkio Creek Bridge in September only to see floodwaters rise again, overflow the Big Lake area, and again shut down the route being reopened for only 16 days.

MoDOT Thursday reopened Route 111, Lake Shore Drive, along Big Lake between U.S. Route 159 and Route 118. March floods closed both routes. Contractor Phillips Hardy worked with MoDOT to complete extensive repairs to both routes in late April.

When flooding receded earlier this week, crews returned to U.S. Route 159 to complete shoulder and roadway repairs. Crews removed debris and made small repairs to Route 111 when floodwaters receded two days ago.

For more information on flood recovery, click here for MoDOT’s special flood web page.

By Brent Martin of Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph