Five Steps To Dealing With A Damaged Roadway After A Serious Flood

Whether you are a city manager, a property owner with a long stretch of private road or driveway, or any other professional who needs to deal with the aftermath of a flooded road, you know how challenging that can be. Unfortunately, repairing a flooded road involves more than a simple call to a roadway repair company. There are also other steps required to mitigate the damage and get these roads working again. Here is a look at what you need to do (or you can hop over to this website):

1. Instate Temporary Driving Solutions

After a serious flood wipes out roads, it can make it impossible for residents to get anywhere, especially in remote or rural areas that are served by very few roads. As soon as possible after a storm, you should work with other transportation officials on creating detours around the flooded areas.

If detours are not possible or if they would be especially cumbersome to citizens, consider exploring temporary measures such as creating single-lane access to roads that have only been washed out on one side. To organize these measures, a traffic signal or a sign needs to be put in place telling drivers about the temporary new driving rules. Alternatively, safety officials can be stationed in the area to help the traffic move through the road one vehicle at a time.

2. Remove Debris

After heavy flooding, there will be more than chunks of asphalt or concrete littering up the flooded area. Garbage, personal possessions and debris often fill up these areas as well, and that debris must be removed before you can begin the process of rebuilding and repairing the roadways in the area.

There are private companies that can provide an area with debris management services, and citizens should also be engaged in the debris removal efforts. For example, after severe flooding in Baldwin County in Alabama, residents were asked to gather and sort flood debris including garbage, construction debris, electronics, vegetation and other debris. Sorted piles make it easier for debris management workers to collect the debris and get it to the appropriate landfill or recycling facility.

3. Apply for Disaster Recovery

If you are a city manager or another public servant charged with keeping roads open and accessible, you may be able to apply for federal relief through the US Department of Transportation to fund your roadway repair project. However, help is not just available to large public projects.

Homeowners, renters and small business owners can also apply for low interest loans through the Disaster Assistance sector of the US government.

4. Repair the Road

Once the debris is gone and the traffic flow has been managed, it is time to actually work on the repairing the road. If possible, hire a roadway repair company who has experience working with flooded areas. They will need to do everything from filling potholes to repairing washed out stretches of road to reinstalling guardrails and more. Ideally, you need a company who is ready to handle all of the deep repairs including installing new traffic signals.

5. Reposition the Roadway as Needed

Repairs aren't always enough to deal with a post-flood situation. In many cases, you will need to work with a roadway engineer on repositioning the road. For example, after a significant portion of Lower Buckhorn Road in Colorado was washed out in a flood, county officials knew they needed to move the road to a safer area.

Now, in addition to repairing five bridges along the stretch of mountain road and stabilizing the bank with tons of rocks, repair officials are blasting the nearby hillside so that they can move the road up five feet. That should decrease the chance that the road will get washed out by the river next to it.