Missouri DOT goal: Re-open flooded roads by end of 2011

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) says its aiming to get flooded routes open as quickly and safely as possible by the end of 2011, the agency announced on Sept. 21.

One of the first big steps to accomplish this goal began Sept. 21 with the start of emergency contract repairs in Atchison County on Route 136.

Leavenworth Excavating & Equipment Co. Inc. of Leavenworth, Kan., is repairing the 1.7-mile section of roadway that runs from Route D almost to Interstate 29. This is the first of a two-phase project that will be necessary to restore access completely across Route 136 where four large gaps in the pavement exist due to the summer flooding.

The purpose of this first emergency repair project is to fill three of the four gaps, as well as other shoulder repair work, according to MODOT. The target completion for this project is Oct. 15, and the contractor is anticipating working 24 hours a day/seven days a week. Once this phase is complete, access will be restored to Phelps City, as well as Route U and Route D.

The second phase of the project will be to repair the largest of the gaps in the pavement, a 600-foot scour hole. Several options are being considered to repair this section, but damages cannot be assessed and staff cannot determine how deep the hole has become until waters recede.

“We are committed to doing everything possible to get these roads opened as quickly and safely as possible for Missourians,” said Don Wichern, MoDOT’s Northwest District engineer, in a written statement from MODOT. “In some areas we are still waiting for waters to recede, but we are spending every available minute planning how to repair and reopen these roads so we can all move forward.”