Miller City Road under major construction - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Miller City Road under major construction

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ALEXANDER COUNTY (WSIL) -- Road crews are working to fix a highway that washed away in the floodwaters this spring.

The Mississippi River had dropped allowing repairs to begin, but crews have had to scramble in the past couple of weeks before the water rose again.

Highway Engineer Jeff Denny said although the river is in minor flood stage, the water came too close for construction crews working to repair Miller City Road.

"When the river got up, they got the rip-rap in place and were able to get the area protected and they've kind of moved on up the road with their work, the ground there is a little higher," said Denny.

Denny explained that just two and half months ago, Miller City Road was covered in drift wood and the pavement was washed away. Now a contract crew is being paid nearly $2,000,000 to make repairs.

"They went in with dozers and track hoes, obliterated the whole road and are just starting basically starting from scratch," said Denny.

To protect the road from future floods, Denny explained the importance of lining the road with rip-rap.

"If you've just got the soil, when the water goes across it, it starts eroding the soil. Then it starts undermining the road and eventually the road is gone," said Denny.

He says for this to no longer be an issue the Len Small Levee has to be repaired. To do that, they'll need millions of dollars in assistance and months without high water.

Denny says even with FEMA assistance, it will take a while for the county roads to be back to normal, "It'll be several years to put everything back in place to the way it was."

Denny said there are still a lot of repairs to be made throughout the county, but with the changing of seasons, work may have to be delayed until next year.

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