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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Flood update: County roads usable, but ‘far from perfect’

  • Almost all of the county roads in Pulaski County may now be passable, but there is still plenty of work left to do and funds needed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get those roads completely up to par after damage caused from this summer's massive flood.
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  • Almost all of the county roads in Pulaski County may now be passable, but there is still plenty of work left to do and funds needed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get those roads completely up to par after damage caused from this summer's massive flood.
    Rick Zweerink, county commissioner for Pulaski County's Western District, said his part of the county has completed work on 112 roads.
    "Those roads are far from perfect, but we've made them usable," he said.
    Zweerink said county personnel and FEMA engineers have evaluated the county's roads that were damaged, but the county has not yet received an exact dollar figure regarding how much getting the roads repaired would cost.
    "We've been working with FEMA since probably the first of September," he said. "We should hear back from then with more specifics early next year."
    He said every road in his district is open. The Red Wing bridge is out, but he said there are two access points so people can quickly get around the bridge.
    "There are still easy ways to get around it," he said of the sole bridge outage.
    He said the main things the county will have to work on to get the damaged roads completely repaired will be adding new coverts, shot rock and "thousands of pounds of new material to replace everything that washed away."
    Len Sharp, Eastern District commissioner for Pulaski County, said the only road that is currently out of commission on the east side of the county is Lafayette.
    "That's the only one, and people aren't really obeying the signs there saying the road is closed," he said.
    That road should hopefully be open and legally accessible again to the public in the near future, he said.
    So far, the county has spent about $450,000 in emergency funds for supplies and labor in order to make the roads usable, albeit far from perfect shape, he said.
    "That bled out our budget just getting the roads usable," he said. "Now, we're just waiting on FEMA funding."
    Some of the roads may cost up to $60,000 individually to be repaired, he said.
    "And we're looking at around $8 million as the preliminary number to get the structures, like the bridges, culverts, low water crossing and things like that repaired," Sharp said. "That's not even including the gravel and repairs for the roads."
    He said while the county is waiting on FEMA, they are still looking for "smaller projects that could have the most impact when they are fixed."
    "It's going to take some time," he said of the county's efforts. "Plus, this weather we're having right now doesn't help. A lot of the roads will start losing their bottoms soon."
    Page 2 of 2 - Even though the county still has some work left to do, drivers should find that state roads in Pulaski County affected by the flood are now all repaired, according to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Area Engineer Preston Kramer.
    "All of the flood related issues on state roadways have been fixed for the past couple of months," Kramer said. "There are a few more locations where we have some bridge work, but it is nothing critical."
    Kramer said all the bride work will include is placing new rocks on to help protect the bridges' foundation.
    "We have about a half dozen bridges that will need new rock," he said. "The rocks floated downstream, but the bridges ' foundations are all still fine, so that means the rocks served their purpose."
    He said that, after the flood, MoDOT had to spend about $1,000,000 for all of the necessary cleanup and repairs in Pulaski, Phelps, Miller, Laclede and Maries counties.
    "Right after the flood, we were able to go ahead and make repairs," he said. "However, we documented everything we had to do and turned everything in to FEMA. Typically, you get about 80-90 percent of the funds you spend on emergencies like this back from FEMA."
    He said the main things MoDOT had to work on after the flood in Pulaski County were cleanup efforts and getting State Route H back up to par.
    "Out past the veterans cemetery, large pieces of the road were just gone [after the flood]," he said.
    ‪As for city roads, the City of Waynesville announced in November that a majority of its roads that were damaged during the August flood have been repaired.‬ ‪
    One of the next roads that will require some attention in Waynesville is Hull Valley Drive. Paving was already supposed to have been completed on this road, but December's snow and ice slowed progress on that road.‬
    In total, the City of Waynesville has spent $880,000 on road repairs.
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