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Flooding in mid-Missouri could warrant road repairs

Roads across mid-Missouri were closed Thursday due to flooding in the area.

Hartsburg Bottom Road and part of South Smith Hatchery Road in Boone County were some of the roads closed due to high waters.

If floodwaters cover the roads, it can cause crews to have to do repairs.

Greg Edington , director of Boone County Road and Bridge, said crews will not know exactly how extensive damage on the roads is until they dry up.

He said it is difficult to measure while water is still on the roads.

Depending on the damage, sometimes crews have to do repairs as simple as running a motor grader over the roads. Other times, they have to replace entire parts of the roads, which is significantly more costly.

Larry Benz, director of Cole County Road and Bridge, said even though this county is near the Missouri River, roads in the area have not been greatly affected by the high water levels.

” Here in the county, we’re not seeing any flooding from the Missouri River. We’re fortunate that it’s cresting and going down, ” he said.

He said if the roads were experiencing damage, crews would go out and check them. He said if it was sitting water, they would use a grader to move the sediment off.

Benz said the most common effect water has on the roads is it softens the base of the road.

He said swift water can cause much more damage.

” It’ll wash roads out. Take the rock off of it, which means more material has to be brought back in, ” he said.

He said crews will put barricades in certain areas if they are needed.

Benz said most of the repairs Cole County sees are not very expensive, but he did not provide a specific figure because it is on a case-by-case basis.

” We know most of the areas where there’s going to be issues, and we’ve either addressed it or we’ve got material here to be able to fix it quickly and get the road opened back up, ” he said.

Cole County Road and Bridge does not expect major flooding on the roads in the area.

Jefferson City Public Works said roads in Jefferson City are usually not affected by flooding in the area, but Cole County roads are more likely to see the effects.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is also prepared for road repairs.

Mike Belt, with MoDOT, said costs can range anywhere from several hundred dollars to millions of dollars.

The department does not know how extensive the damage on roads statewide is.

Some areas in northern Missourim, like St. Joseph, have experienced heavy flooding. Those areas will probably need more repairs, like mid-Missouri.

Belt said areas around Jefferson City and Columbia have not seen very much flooding that would cause repairs.

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