SD Highway 48 severely damaged by flooding

Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:52 pm

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According to Rod Gall, Area Engineer with the Yankton Department of Transportation – State Highway Department, as of Monday, water is still crossing S.D. Highway 48.

They won’t know the extent of damage until the water recedes, he said, but they do know about one-half mile of shoulder is gone on the river’s downside, some of the asphalt driving lane has washed away, and a portion of the concrete roadway has been undermined at least 10 feet beneath but the bridge is not damaged.

The plan is once the water recedes, the roadway will be assessed. Then a contractor will be hired to move flood debris and repair the roadway.

“As soon as the water gets off the road, then we will start the process immediately,” said Gall. “How long that’s going to take? I don’t know. I suppose it could take another three weeks to one month after we can assess the damage.”

DOT officials have no intention of raising the roadway, installing culvert or doing future prevention measures, he said. “It’s just to get it open — back to what it was prior to flooding.”

“This is the most damage we’ve ever had,” said Gall, noting DOT officials don’t know why. “Worst than Flood of 2014 by far. We had to do a little bit of work on the shoulders that time but we lost a lot of the road this time.”

S.D. Highway 48 is scheduled in 2020 for new asphalt from Interstate 29 to the Iowa border and that remains in the plans, he said.

“You’ve got to be patient,” said Gall. “We’re going to have another winter storm moving in with lots of moisture later this week. It’s probably going to make the situation worse.”

“After it’s gone, it’s probably going to take another two or three weeks before the water goes down — before we can analyze the road and get some repairs done so we can open it up again,” he said.

“The road is closed — closures were put all across it,” said Gall, “because we don’t know what the pavement looks like underneath the asphalt. If someone drives across it, the road could fail and they could go into the river.”

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