Roads still recovering from flooding (updated)By Emily Etheredge Published 5:16pm Friday, April 18, 2014
After heavy rains fell throughout portions of Chilton County earlier this month, many roads are still recovering from flooding.
“The roads are still very wet,” Chilton County Engineer Tony Wearren said. “Just because we have had a few sunny days does not mean the roads are dry. It usually requires a couple of days after a rain to work on them, and we haven’t had a solid period of time without any rain.”
County Road 442 and a section of County Road 495 were opened April 18 after road department crews worked to get them fixed.
Wearren said sections of roads in the county are still closed from flooding, and crews will begin working on them when the roads dry out.
County Road 515 is closed due to a pipe culvert that was blown out; County Road 373 remains closed after a pipe collapsed and a trench is across the road; a small section of County Road 352 is closed; County Road 325 is closed; a section of County Road 305 is closed; and a portion of County Road 229 is closed.
“When we had the major flooding earlier this month, we had about a dozen roads closed,” Wearren said. “We worked to open as many as we could, but some of these roads just take time, and it is all dependent on the weather. We have been hauling in material to try to rebuild roads in the roughest places, but with the constant rainfall, it has made repair of the roads very difficult.”
Wearren estimates the cost of repairs to roads affected by the flooding could cost roughly $150,000.
“A few of the areas that were hit involved bridges,” Wearren said. “A bridge replacement is not easy to fix, and it costs a lot of money.”
On April 7, the National Weather Service in Calera confirmed that 8.6 miles east of Clanton received 5.5 inches and the northern portion of the county received about 2.85 inches of rain.
Wearren said the southern portion of the county had more road issues due to more sand in the area.
Although many of the roads in the county were opened shortly after the heavy rains of April 7, Wearren said other days with rainfall have made the process of getting everything reopened difficult.
“A lot of the roads are a mess right now,” Wearren said. “We are trying to get them all back up, but it will take a while for everything to dry. We don’t want to haul dirt in and get into more rain where it would turn into more mud.”
Wearren said over the Easter weekend, portions of County Road 431 and County Road 236 were closed due to individuals riding ATVs on the muddy roads affected by heavy rainfall.
“Deputies from the sheriff’s department found some people riding ATVs on the roads, and we had to close portions of those roads because they were tearing them up by riding on them,” Wearren said. “Unfortunately it just takes time, and we are working the best we can to get everything opened.”