CHEROKEE, Iowa (KCAU) — In early March of 2019, the Little Sioux River was flooded leaving the residents of Cherokee, Iowa, to drive an extra 45 minutes to get across town. Now the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has a plan to prevent that.

The DOT is planning a $12.1 million expansion of the Little Sioux overpass. With the money, they plan to replace the current bridge and make improvements and build another bridge east of Cherokee. 

Dakin Shultz, with the Iowa DOT, said the replacement and creation of a new bridge will help ensure safe passage for Cherokee residents if flooding occurs.

“It’s at a point where we need to do some replacement on it and so instead of just doing a single replacement, we are going to do replacement of the existing bridge. We’ll build this new bridge and then we will do new pavement with the grade raised,” said Schultz.

The Iowa DOT expects to start the reconstruction and construction sometime in early 2026.