Heavy rains have washed away sections of some local roadways, prompting emergency closures and repairs by Montgomery County and Miamisburg officials to keep drivers safe.
Rainfall ate away a stretch of Upper River Road near Miamisburg, leaving a guardrail dangling above the Great Miami River and forcing the county to close a stretch of Upper River, according to Gary Shoup, Montgomery County chief deputy engineer.
“With all the rain we’ve been having – not just at this location but at other locations in the county – there have been some landslides,” Shoup said Monday. “A small portion of the road is gone. The posts of the guardrail are no longer embedded into the earth. They are just hanging there.”
The damage prompted at least the third recent road closure and fourth emergency action to keep drivers safe in and around Miamisburg due to roadways threatened by erosion, according to officials.
Last week, Miamisburg officials ordered emergency repairs on a portion of Ohio 725. The state route was closed in both directions at times between Riverview and Linden avenues for repairs to an eroded embankment and ditch, according to the city.
“We caught it early and got out there ahead of it,” said Miamisburg city engineer Bob Stanley.
He said the Ohio 725 issue was directly related to the amount of rain pounding Miamisburg’s most heavily traveled route that carries more than 20,000 vehicles a day.
“What we were seeing was significant erosion from runoff from the roadway,” Stanley said.
On Upper River Road, a landslide from the riverbank along the road took about two feet off a lane along a 50- to 100-foot section between Farmersville-West Carrollton Road and Soldiers Home Miamisburg Road. About 150 vehicles used the road daily during a 2016 traffic count, Shoup said.
Along Ohio 725, large rocks have been fixed in place with concrete to help stabilize the area, Stanley said. The initial work is running the city about $80,000 to be addressed by an emergency ordinance next week, he said.
A section of Lower Miamisburg Road shared by Miamisburg and Montgomery County is also closed due to “slippage,” he said.
“It’s a hillside issue, not a river issue,” Stanley said.
Shoup said near-historic rainfall levels in February — normally when precipitation would come as slow-melting snow — as well as more record-setting rainy days since, laid the groundwork for the problems.
“It’s not unique to us, it’s throughout all of southern Ohio — the heavy rains and similar situations we’re encountering,” Shoup said.
The proximity of a swollen Little Twin Creek and Manning Road became a concern a couple months ago, prompting Montgomery County crews to place a concrete barrier between the roadway and creek west of Venus Road as a safety precaution, Shoup said.
This February was the fourth rainiest on record, with 5.62 inches at Dayton International Airport, the most since 1990, according to National Weather Service records. Precipitation in March was about a quarter inch more than average, while so far in April is running about one and half inches above normal, even before counting any rainfall Monday or Tuesday.
Montgomery County commissioners are expected to vote Tuesday to keep Upper River Road closed until the engineer’s office can assess the feasibility of a permanent fix. Detours are currently place.
“There’s no decision that the road is going to be closed permanently or not,” Shoup said. “That is something we will have to look at.”