I-35 DETOUR: Bringing Business To Small Towns

An accident has created an eight-mile-long detour on one of the state’s busiest thoroughfares.

DOT officials shut down a portion of Interstate 35 Monday night for fear of falling debris after an oversized load damaged a bridge over the interstate.

The detour affects travelers heading northbound on I-35 into the metro forcing them to exit near Bevington before heading east on Highway 92, then north on Highway 28 and finally taking Highway 5 back onto the Interstate.

DOT officials announced Tuesday they have crews working to clear the debris and hope to have the road reopened by Friday morning.

More than 10,000 cars are expected to take the detour. On a typical day, less than 2,000 people travel these roads.

Workers at the Jiffy Express in Martensdale see an opportunity to lure in a few more customers.

Manager Susan McCoy says the store is usually slow outside of the lunch hour, but Tuesday she hasn’t had a moment to catch her breath.

People who live in these small towns are on guard. Several homes surround Highway 28, police are urging drivers and families to be careful near the road.

“There‚Äôs small communities drivers will pass through on the detour. They will see kids walking and playing on the side streets. People just need to be careful. That’s the number one concern,” Sgt. Scott Bright said.

The first priority is to remove the broken beams from the bridge so drivers can continue along I-35.

As for the bridge itself work to repair it will be contracted out at a later date. There is no time table for when it will be repaired.

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