HARRISON COUNTY, IN (WAVE) – The flood waters that covered State Road 111 in southern Indiana in late February are gone but getting to and from Horseshoe Casino still isn't smooth sailing.
The cold snap combined with recent flooding and heavy rains has part of the embankment along the Ohio slipping off and in some places, bringing part of the road with it. Now, the Indiana Department of Transportation and geotechnical crews from Geostabilization International are out on the roads working to find a way to fix it before they lose any more of the roadway. The continued rainfall isn't making the job any easier.
"The weather conditions have been just perfect for creating slides," Harry Maginity, spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said.
Embankment slides have pulled chunks of earth away from the land and into the Ohio in spots along 111. They've eaten away much of the land sitting between the roadway and the river in five spots. Near Two Mile Lane, the guardrail has pulled away from the road, the shoulder has gone and the pavement has sunk down more than six inches in some spots.
Near Horseshoe Casino, the wet grounds led the foundation supporting a signal near the parking garage to come up when a truck hit the pole, bringing it down, according to Maginity. That signal has since been replaced with a sign.
Up the road at Daisy's Country Cooking Cafeteria in New Albany, Donna Logsdon said many of her customers have been impacted, first the flooding on highway 111 and now this.
"It's been an ordeal for all of them. Luckily it hasn't affected us," Logsdon said.
The popular spot has its dedicated regulars, some coming in to eat two or three times a day. Logsdon said they'll find a way in to eat even if it means taking a long detour around the road issues.
"I get a lot of customers in that's having to commute around the other ways and stuff," Logsdon said. "They tell me it's really horrifying out there."
Geotechnical specialists have started surveying the slides. They're studying the soil to come up with a plan on how to repair current and future slides along the bank. Cars have been routed to the shoulder in some spots where the ground between the road and river grows thin.
"And if it keeps going, it's going to get underneath the actual lane pavement and we'll lose the lanes," Maginity said. "We're not to that place at this time, we're looking to stop the slides before it gets there."
With more rain coming and regular traffic on the casino-bound road, Maginity said they're working to find a fix to stop the slides before this problem grows.
WAVE 3 News reached out to Horseshoe Casino about the impact recent flooding and now embankment issues are having to their business that sits along state road 111. The casino sent back a statement that read:
"INDOT provides us regular updates on road conditions and traffic patterns for 111 and we have full confidence in their plans. We appreciate their quick response in addressing the matter."
A report from the geotechnical crews on how best to fix the embankment slides is expected soon so INDOT can put together a plan to fix the roads. Highway 111 is currently open. Maginity said they will close it if the roads become an immediate hazard to drivers.