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Crowell Rd. reopened temporarily

COVINGTON -- Crowell Road was expected to reopen Wednesday afternoon after six weeks of being closed due to flood damage.

It took about 10 days to complete repairs to make the road safe to temporarily open again.

Two of three 6-inch diameter corrugated metal pipes under the road were full of silt, meaning that all the water was flowing through one pipe, which became damaged as a result, according to County Engineer Kevin Walter.

"The water was 10 feet higher than the pipe, and that put so much pressure on the road that the soil washed away and the road failed," he said.

The pipes were repaired and the road dug up and coated with asphalt.

A more permanent fix will begin once authorization is received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That will likely be about six months from now, Walter said.

"The road will remain partially open during the more permanent repairs next year. ... This temporary repair will allow us to get the road open. We believe we are safe for a year, the time it will take to get the road fixed," he said.

A portion of Crowell, at the Interstate 20/Almon Road exit interchange, has been closed since flooding in late September.

County Commission Chairwoman Kathy Morgan is asking for mitigation for the road, which has been damaged by water at least three times in nine years.

"If we replace it to the point it was at the time of the flood, it's just going to flood again," Morgan said.

If FEMA agrees to mitigation, the reimbursement to the county would need to be negotiated; the agency only commits to reimbursing 75 percent of the cost to get roads back to pre-flood condition, Morgan said.