Madison County addressing problems with Weisenberger Road flooding problemsBy MEGAN PHILLIPS,
Mendrop Engineering has just completed a study for Weisenberger Road, which has suffered increasing issues with flooding during heavy rains.
Madison County supervisors recently hired Mendrop to see what can be done to alleviate the issue. To completely eliminate the flooding will cost approximately $1.7 million.
Besides cars getting stuck in the flood waters, emergency services are located on Weisenberger, posing an even bigger problem for people needing fire or police respondents.
“That particular area’s been a problem for years, but it does flood severely if there’s any significant amount of rainfall, and it does inhibit the flow of emergency vehicles to and from the interstate to the Gluckstadt (and Highway) 51 area,” Sheriff Randy Tucker said in an August meeting.
“(Weisenberger Road) is in a horrible situation, a dangerous situation,” District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones added.
Because of Bear Creek, which flows under Weisenberger near a railroad track, part of the road is often inundated with rain water.
“Basically, Bear Creek flows from the south and works its way to the northside of the CO2 facility and the gas station on the corner (of Weisenberger) at (U.S. Highway) 51,” County Engineer Dan Gaillet said.
Matheson Tri-gas and the Gluckstadt Texaco are located on that corner.
Between the railroad tracks and Highway 51, Weisenberger falls lower than the railroad and Highway 51.
“So, when there are bigger rain events, the storm water will breach Weisenberger,” Gaillet said.
There is also a box culvert under the railroad. Part of the county’s plan is to work with the railroad company to fix the box culvert, reducing some of the creek’s overflow.
“In addition to raising the roadway approximately three feet,” Gaillet said.
A box culvert allows water to flow under a road, railroad, trail, or similar obstruction from one side to the other.
Gaillet said the road was closed two weeks ago in order to fix the railroad crossing.
Minor Norman, county emergency management director, also spoke to the conditions of Weisenberger: “Seeing that road, it is bad for the fire department out there.”
“We have three districts that have to drive (Weisenberger) every day and school buses,” District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter, board president, said. “There is no comparison between a pothole and a flooded road with a school bus of children, deputies or a fire truck. There’s no comparison.”