ALEXANDER COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - Parts of Illinois Route 3 and IL 146 first closed on Friday, June 21.
On Wednesday, July 3 at 7 p.m. Route 146 was closed from East Cape Girardeau to the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge to all traffic.
Previously, on July 1, at 7 p.m. the roadway was closed to small vehicles and lowered vehicles. SUVs and trucks only will be allowed. The 10 p.m. curfew is still in effect for the area.
The Illinois Department of Transportation closed Illinois 3 near McClure, and IL 146 to East Cape Girardeau at 7 p.m. due to high water created from Mississippi River flooding.
According to Keith Miley with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the water rose about an inch overnight, so they made the call to close it to keep drivers safe.
Warning signs are installed to inform motorists of the closure.
Route 146 will be closed at the east city limits of East Cape Girardeau, past the two subdivisions, so they can still get to Cape Girardeau across the Bill Emerson Bridge.
Route 3 will close at the south city limits of McClure, where the intersection is between 146 and Route 3, and stay closed south of Gale, near the old school.
Miley said crews and Alexander County deputies will monitor the closure and conditions 24/7.
According to Alexander County Sheriff Tim Brown, drivers will be cited if they ignore the road closure signs.
Once the water recedes, Miley said crews will “reverse open” the road. This means they will start with one lane like it was before the closure and eventually go back to being fully open.
Miley recommended detouring from Cairo, Ill. on I-57, to Charleston, to Sikeston and then to Cape Girardeau.
The reopening of the Chester Bridge on Saturday, June 22 allows drivers another possible detour.
You can click here to check more flooded road and bridge information.
Previously, south of McClure Route 3 was down to one lane due to the floodwaters.
Illinois Department of Transportation engineers felt the road was safe for drivers, and they hoped keep it open as long as possible.
“This is just backwater. There’s no velocity to speak of, so we’re not worried about a car or any kind of vehicle being swept off the pavement. If for whatever reason that would change, then we will take appropriate action," said Keith Miley, IDOT Engineer.
Early Thursday, June 20, drivers traveling on Route 146 encountered floodwaters bordering both the driving and passing lanes on the west and east bound lanes of the divided highway. Some areas water was in the travelling lane.
Part of Route 3 near Gale, Illinois closed at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 and will remain closed until further notice due to water on the road.
Warning signs were installed to inform drivers of the closure. The road will remain closed until the flood waters recede.