SUGAR CREEK, Mo. — The longer floodwaters cover the roads, the more damage there could be when the water finally recedes.
On Thursday, officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation were out surveying impacted areas. District Bridge Engineer Stephen Collyott said he was looking for any structural damage to roads and bridges that may be due to recent flooding.
"We'll check the bearings and make sure they're still set correctly and make sure that all the debris gets cleaned up underneath and that it's still safe to drive on," Collyott said.
It does not take much water to cause a problem. Collyott said the longer that roads are covered with water, the more issues MoDOT could be faced with in the future.
"Once the water recedes and if we put traffic back on it, that subgrade may not be able to handle the weight anymore and so the road will collapse that way," Collyott said.
Earlier this week, Collyott went to check on roads near Levasy, Missouri. With much of the area still underwater, Collyott said there is not much he can do right now.
"Waiting for the water to go down so we can assess not only the bridges, but the roadways that have been underwater," Collyott said.
He said that roadways usually see a greater impact after flooding compared to bridges. While he's hoping the damage in Levasy is minimal, he is also developing a plan for repairs as soon as the water goes down.
MoDOT said more engineers will be out surveying flooded areas as the water starts to recede.