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By Marlana Smith
Missouri Department of Transportation Communications Manager Marissa Ellison wants area residents to know that MoDOT is working on an option that will allow the water to drain off Route N more efficiently.
Shelby County Presiding Commissioner Glenn Eagan said Thursday, July 1, he and Eric Werr, who works for the United States Postal Service in Shelbyville, went out in April and checked some county roads.
“We went down a gravel road near Route N and then traveled down Route N and to my surprise, there was water over the road, and it hadn’t rained for several days,” Eagan said.
A couple days later, Eagan said he walked the whole area trying to figure out a solution. His solution, a drainage tube.
“If you put in a big 15-20 in. drain tube it is still going to take a while to drain. It should drain the area in a couple days, rather than taking a month to evaporate,” Eagan explained.
Ellison said the problem has to do with natural water flow but also with the different wildlife, primarily beavers, in the area.
Brian Untiedt, an Area Engineer for MoDOT, along with Eagan and Dean Carroll, who owns land in the area, put on waders and walked the whole area.
They came across the beaver dam which is a quarter mile east of the road.
“You take out a beaver dam, they will build it right back,” Eagan continued, “We all talked it over and decided, destroying the beaver dam wouldn’t be a solution.”
Untiedt took the information he gathered back to his superiors at MoDOT who agreed a drain tube might be a solution.
“When we are able to do something, the expectation is the road will more than likely still flood, yet we are trying to determine a way to reduce how long it will be flooded and closed,” said Ellison.
Eagan has been in contact with Untiedt every other week trying to get updates. The county commissioners met with Untiedt in May to try and find a solution.
“He said things are progressing, but they are having to do an environmental study and an engineer is determining what size tube to put in,” Eagan said.
According to Eagan, the tube would be located 200 yards north of the river on the east side of the road.
Ellison said once the requirements are determined, they can perform the option and will share the plan and timeline with area residents.