How long will it take crews to repair roads damaged by recent floodwaters?

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Saturday, May 11, 2024
How long will it take crews to repair roads damaged by recent floodwaters?
Precinct 3's north and east sides were the most severely affected areas in Harris County. During the height of the storm, it took nearly 100 crew workers five days of work to respond to the emergency.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Our ABC13 reporters have shown you what recent flooding has done to homes, but what about our roads?

In Harris County, the hardest-hit area was to the north and east side of Precinct 3.

"We have station crews and station equipment so that we can quickly respond. And to have this road drivable in less than a week is pretty extraordinary," Harris County Commissioner Tom Ramsey said.

Wallisville Road is one of the most damaged roads in his precinct following the recent floods. The debris the San Jacinto River brings is everywhere, and the road surface is crumbling.

For residents of the nearby neighborhood, Rio Villa, what's left behind is an unsteady surface, with huge sections destroyed by Mother Nature that are a rough, even dangerous drive.

Precinct 3 Road and Bridge Director Jennifer Almonte explained the extent of the damage.

"We had a massive amount of water rush through here, and it's basically peeled off the surface of the roadway and washed a whole lot of debris from who knows where upstream and down onto here," Almonte said. "We're going to remove all this surface, probably saw it, and cut it evenly so that we can get a good paving surface on here when we come back and repair it. And we're also out here, obviously, removing all the debris that's washed up."

There are areas all over the precinct that need cleanup and repair.

"We have a couple of areas up in the north of Huffman where we have some washouts on the road, sort of edge failures like you see here on Wallisville," Almonte said. "We have some outfall structures that have giant sinkholes that we're going to have to look at, and then we've also lost a lot of driveways."

This repair on Wallisville alone would cost $100,000 if a contractor had to do it, but the commissioner says his crews can do the work. Still, they're missing out on their regular duties.

"We will essentially lose a month of maintenance in east Harris County on our roads and other things while we respond to the storm," Almonte said.

The damage is worse at FM-787 at the Trinity River in Liberty County. The swollen river washed away the dirt beneath the approach slab. Although the bridge has not collapsed, TxDOT will likely have to hire an emergency contractor to repair it. It is terrible news for residents now driving a long way around on alternate roads.

TxDOT says over the last two weeks, more than 100 locations on state roads have experienced flooding. Because some of the roads are still underwater, the full scope of the damage remains to be seen.

You can check the latest conditions statewide at DriveTexas' website.

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