Secondary roads battling weather’s impact on gravel roads

The county secondary roads crew is already planning to work this weekend to reclaim gravel roads after what engineer Wade Weiss called “the non-perfect storm.”

The crew spent most of Wednesday trying to clear ice from crossroad pipes to help ditches, and placing signs warning drivers of water over the road. Wednesday afternoon Weiss estimated there were 40 places marked, but he said that wasn’t all of them.

He said the gravel roads have been “just about demolished” by the weather. A lot of snow followed by rain, before the ground thawed, softened the road surfaces into what Weiss called “slime.”

Paton-Churdan took its school buses off gravel roads starting Tuesday and Greene County did the same starting Wednesday. Weiss said that helps the situation, but he knows feed trucks will still use the roads. The heavy trucks will make ruts that will need to be graded out.

Ideally, temperatures will drop overnight enough to freeze the surface of the gravel roads. If that happens, the secondary road crews will be out well before daylight dragging the roads until the surfaces start to thaw again. However, temperatures aren’t predicted to fall below freezing Wednesday.

Weiss is looking for sunshine and wind to dry the countryside.

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