Alexander County, Ill. (KFVS) - On Wednesday, crews in Alexander County work to fix the broken and washed out roads left by the flood of 2019, which officials call the worst flood.
The county received $2 million dollars in emergency funding from Federal Highway Administration to get the town of Miller City back to normal.
Currently, the roads are closed to the public for safety reasons, however, local residents do have access to it.
Alexander county official Jeff Denny is glad to have the emergency assistance so quickly. “It’s a big relief to know we are going to get this help, we are going to get these emergency funds to be able to put the road back in a reasonable time,” he said.
The county budget alone would not be able to fix the problem in the amount of time necessary. Denny said, “Without that help, it’s something, maybe three or four years, we could get it back to the condition it’s going to be next month.”
Bump after bump, the impassable road has been closed since July, blocking families like Sherry Pecord from getting to her home like normal.
Pecord said, “I am very pleased with the work that’s being done. They are working very hard to get it done quickly, and it is wonderful to be able to drive home our normal route.”
According to Denny, Miller City road is the primary road through this whole southern part of the county. "For the people who live here, the tourist, the businesses, the farmers that farm here, it’s important to have a good road that everyone can use and it provides a lot of benefits to the county,” Denny said.
Local contractor, E.T. Simonds, won the bid for the emergency project. Field supervisor Tad Parrish said the company wants to get the project done expeditiously because he understands the inconvenience for the people in town.
“They didn’t ask for this, this is where they were born and raised and where they grew up at. It’s not their fault that the levy blew and it’s not their fault the corps won’t replace it,” Parrish said.
Denny said there’s no update on the Lens Small Levee, he said the Army Corps of Engineers would not support the fixing of the levee.
FEMA Emergency Assistance has not been paid out yet.
The Miller City Road Project will be completed by mid-January, but officials hope to have the road open back up by Thanksgiving.