Iowa City’s Dubuque Street, a key artery that parallels the Iowa River, had a history of flooding—but in recent years floods have been worse and have had a much bigger impact.
The road carries more than 25,000 vehicles a day between Interstate 80 and the downtown business district and University of Iowa. It was closed 54 days during the great flood of 1993. Water levels exceeded the 100-year flood stage in 2008 for about five days, forcing closure of the nearby Park Road bridge across the river as well. In the summers of 2013 and 2014, historic river levels closed the street for about three weeks. Locally heavy rains, 1 in. plus per hour, are known to flood and close Dubuque Street’s northbound lanes.