ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- MoDOT crews continue their work to figure out what caused a section of roadway to collapse and how they are going to fix it.
An 8-10 foot stretch of the shoulder along the Hanley on-ramp to I-64 Eastbound collapsed sometime Sunday night into Monday morning in the midst of heavy rain.
"What we think is happening, probably with all the rain, that the slope has given way so it’s basically a mudslide," said Karen Yeomans, an area engineer with MoDOT.
During much of the day Wednesday, MoDOT crews and surveyors were on sight investigating the issue.
"It’s serious enough that we’ve hired a consultant under an emergency basis," said Yeomans.
She says that consultant will do a geological investigation and develop a plan to fix it, hopefully by January 18th. MoDOT believes the collapse is more of a soil issue, rather than engineering.
"We have a lot of clay soils here in Missouri and sometimes when they get too saturated on a slope like this, it can give way, it can slide," said Yeomans.
In fact, another stretch of the same hillside collapsed about 10 years ago. Yeomans said they checked it after this recent collapse and it seems stable, however, they are keeping a close eye on the portion of the hillside to the east of the current collapse.
That is raising concern at the recreation center in Richmond Heights, The Heights.
"Our immediate concern was how it would encroach upon our playground or affect our building. But as of today, we’ve been OK," said Teresa Proebsting, director of Parks and Recreation.
Sliding dirt already worked its way under MoDOT's chain link fence along the property line. The rec center is keeping its playground closed for now.
While engineers work on a fix, the two-lane on ramp now merges into one lane earlier than it did before the collapse.
"Drivers are still a good 10 feet away from where earth slid. It is stable. If we didn’t think it was safe, we wouldn’t let traffic out there," said Yeomans.
She says MoDOT has traffic engineers re-timing signals in the area to try to help congestion.