After record setting precipitation in the Faulkner County area, county roads, city roads and even the state highway systems have significant structural damage.
Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin said the situation is not going to go away immediately.
“After 106 to 107 inches of rain, the freezing, the thawing, in combination with snowfall, it has become a serious situation. We’re working on these roads as fast as we can,” Scroggin said.
Scroggin said some road areas will have to wait until conditions become drier and warmer. When conditions become workable, the Faulkner County Road Department will “put a permanent fix on things.”
“It’s going to be rough. The weather’s dealt us a blow,” Scroggin said. “We have to set it as a priority.”
Scroggin said funding at present was OK for the county roads, but funds could be moved away from bridge and mowing programs.
“We’ll make it our top priority to fix the holes, then prioritize it from there. If that means we can’t mow the sides of some roads, we will prioritize the potholes,” Scroggin said.
Scroggin said that if residents will inform the Road Department of area damages, they will be addressed sooner.
“We can’t fix them if we don’t know where they are at,” Scroggin said.
Major areas of concern, according to county officials, are roads where natural gas drilling is occurring.
Scroggin said due to the heavier traffic, and the “hand the weather has dealt us,” the department is not able to fix the areas the way they would like.
County officials, according to Scroggin, are considering instituting a 20 or 25 mph speed limit where natural gas and oil exploration is taking place.
The county will work to keep these areas as passable as they can, according to Scroggin.
“Because we can’t fix them the way we’d like, we’re putting gravel in the holes for now. The roads need to be traveled at a lower speed,” Scroggin said. “It’s just something we’re thinking about for safety.”
Road Foreman Glen Willhite said the department has 1,450 miles of county roads to assess.
“Mother nature has not been nice to us this year,” Willhite said. “What we need is sunshine and heat to help us dry this water up. We’re patching every day.”
To report road damage to county roads, contact the Faulkner County Road Department at 450-4930.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)