Following a gas line explosion near Missouri Route 15 about one mile north of Mexico early Sunday morning, the Missouri Department of Transportation closed the road until further notice. It is now apparent about 600 feet of the road has the oil “cooked” out of it from the heat of the fire and explosion, leaving its surface damaged to an unknown depth and unstable. The nearby Davis Fork Bridge was not damaged and has passed an emergency inspection.
“The surface of the road is pitted like a golf ball,” described MoDOT Maintenance Superintendent Ron Calvin. He went on to explain some of these holes are 10” wide. “All the oil that bonds the pavement together has been cooked out of the road,” he continued. MoDOT engineers, Calvin and his maintenance crews inspected the road after cleaning it to get to the surface. “This is definitely a unique experience,” he added.
MoDOT is working to obtain materials and equipment to make temporary repairs to seal the road, but frigid weather and potential rain is causing uncertainty on timing. “We are hopeful the material will work, but it’s going to be at least another day or so before we will know for sure,” Calvin stated.
Once good weather is given, MoDOT will work with the pipe line and a contractor to make permanent repairs to the road.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to ensure the road is safe for travel,” Calvin added. The road will continue to be closed; there are a few area residents who live on this stretch of road, and they are being allowed access to their property. For updates, refer to the online traveler information map at www.modot.org.
Pictures of the damaged road will be posted on MoDOT Northeast District’s Facebook page in the near future.