JACKSON/RANDOLPH COUNTIES, IL (KFVS) - Illinois 3 at the Cora Levee reopened at noon on Tuesday, July 9, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
It’s great news for travelers in southern Illinois, but for businesses getting their merchandise shipped out, it comes as a great relief to costs.
Don Welge is the president of Glister Mary Lee Corporation in Chester. It’s a manufacturer of many dried food products, according to him. He said much of his shipping operation was forced to detours due to flooding this season.
“We’ve been spending a lot of money on gas for our employees,” he said, “and probably the biggest hardship on them too was the hours they had to work.”
Welge said he has a fair number of employees who work in the Jackson County area. Normally a 45 minute to an hour drive has been more like two hours since the Cora Floodgate closure.
Flooding has been terrible for business this year, according to Welge. While this opening is a big relief, he said there’s still more of Route 3 he wants to see dry up.
“I’ll be glad when the Cape Bridge opens back up, because normally when you’re going down Route 3, you’re going over the Cape Bridge which you can’t do at this time,” he said, “but it does help to have that Cora entrance there, because it’s much easier if you’re going to Kentucky or Tennessee.”
The floodgate at the Jackson/Randolph County line was closed between IL 151 and Chester, Ill. on Thursday morning, May 2 due to high water from the Mississippi River flooding.
Warning and detour signs were installed to alert drivers of the closure and detour route.