Columbia dealing with Valmeyer Road issue

Pictured is the section of Valmeyer Road that is sinking. Engineers will evaluate the ground this week to determine the cause and the best plan of action. (Corey Saathoff photo)

Progress should start this week on the sinking taking place on Valmeyer Road in Columbia, as a geo-technical firm has been contracted to evaluate the soil under the road and determine a cause.

The westbound lane has been slowly sinking since the area experienced heavy rain in April and May, and the city was forced to reduce traffic to one lane through the affected area.

“We’re going to do some minor repair work, not to reopen the lane, but to keep water from getting in there and exacerbating the problem,” said City Engineer Ron Williams.

The problem appears to be a “slide,” which can be caused by material under the surface allowing the dirt on top to slide off, often because moisture has penetrated an area it usually doesn’t reach.

Once the cause has definitively been determined, a fix will be pursued.

“It’s going to be an inconvenience for another couple weeks,” Williams said.

In other city council news, Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards presented his monthly report to the council.

“Unfortunately, our numbers for drug (incidents) continue to rise,” Edwards said.

He attributed this increase to action taken by the Missouri legislature to require prescriptions for the ingredients used to make methamphetamine.

“We’re the first stop when they leave Missouri to come to Illinois,” he said, adding he expects arrests related to trying to procure meth ingredients to continue to rise until Illinois passes regulations similar to Missouri.

Building Inspector Al Holden told the council that new home starts have slowed down slightly from earlier this year, but at about one a week, they are still above the number at this time last year.

“We’re doing quite a few new swimming pool (permits) too,” he said.

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