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      Route 79 in Missouri gives way to elements

      The following is a press release from MODOT:

      After closing Route 79 just south of Ashburn a week ago due to a significant crack in the road, MoDOT announced today that the road had given way to the elements, sliding down the hillside and leaving only half a road in tact. "We are still looking at solutions, and now that the dirt under the road has moved, we'll have a better opportunity to see what's going on underneath," said MoDOT Maintenance and Traffic Engineer Mark Giessinger.

      A permanent barricade has been set up on either side of the closure, since MoDOT is not sure when the road can be repaired. "This is a little different than the slide that occurred in 2008," Giessinger said. "The problem with the road is the same, but it's a different time of year," he continued. The first slide occurred in April 2008 which was approaching summer. "We'll just have to see what can be done; nothing is definite yet, except that we want to deliver a product that is safe," he added.

      Several options are being evaluated with regard to repairing the road. MoDOT Transportation Project Manager Chris Knapp will be managing the repair project. "Our surveyors will be on site gathering data for the next three days, and after we have that information we will begin discussing repair options with our geotechnical specialists," he stated. Engineers probably will not know until later in the month how and when the road will be repaired.

      Drivers needing to use Route 79 are being made aware of the closure with message boards set up all over northeast Missouri. A map of the detour and closure have been posted on MoDOT's website at, along with pictures and information from the slide that occurred in 2008.

      For more information about this project or other transportation-related issues, please call MoDOT at 1-888 ASK MODOT, email or you can visit MoDOT's web site at