NEWBURG — Motorists traveling Highway T between Doolittle and Newburg will have to continue using temporary traffic signals at least through next week around a section of road that caved in Saturday.
Super-saturated ground from heavy rains last week led to the section of Highway T just north of County Road 7290 to cave in, according to Preston Kramer, area engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
Traffic control signals were placed Saturday to direct motorists through this area, which is open to only one lane of traffic currently.
Kramer said the cave-in was reported late Saturday morning after a torrential downpour soaked the area Friday night. Material under the road liquified and slid down the hill, Kramer explained.
"The ground slid away down the hill from underneath the pavement," Kramer said. "We've had a small amount of sliding in this area in the past, but never this significant."
Kramer said crews worked Monday morning, taking core samples at the site.
As of Monday morning, the sliding appeared to have stopped, according to Kramer, but he warned travelers that if sliding starts up again or continues into the southbound lane of Highway T, both lanes would have to be closed.
"We're keeping an eye on it, and we'll try to keep one lane of traffic open," he said. "We want people to get where they need to go."
Kramer said a more stable material, such as rock or a geo-textile material, will be used to replace the material that liquefied. Kramer also said equipment that MoDOT does not have is needed for the work.
"We don't handle this big of slide normally," Kramer said.
"Our timeline is before the end of this week to have some plans developed for the reconstructive work that needs to be done and have a contractor in there next week fixing it," Kramer said.
Once work begins, Kramer said it could take several days, noting he is unsure if it will be complete by the end of next week.