MANKATO, MN - Right under your feet are thousands of feet of pipe that are used to keep rainwater from flooding onto the roads.  If the pipes should fail, the roadway could crumble, potentially causing a huge headache for motorists.

MnDOT is inspecting these storm drains with high-tech cameras.  They're looking for signs of wear; things like major cracks, collapses, or blockages.
 
Jared Demaster, a senior engineer with MnDOT, said: "If we find acute conditions, we might use a liner to line the storm sewer pipe.  We might dig up other problems as we see them or we might try to do some other methods of rehabilitation that don't involve digging."

The storm sewers are getting older and giving the pipes a thorough inspection will keep them in good working order.

"The last project was done in about '85, so the overall condition is... you'd expect it to be okay, but you might start to see a few signs of age.", Demaster mentioned.

One area they are focusing on, is this sinkhole that formed as a result of heavy rains.  Crews were able to make a temporary repair.  MnDOT will be closing lanes down on Highway 169 while the inspections continue.  They urge drivers to keep an eye out for work crews.

Demaster warned: "The televising crew will probably be out here for another week and a half or so, making sure we get a complete checkup of the system, so pay attention to the cones and hopefully people can slow down and give them a little bit of space to make sure they can do their work safely."