Belzer: County’s roads need time to heal
During Tuesday’s scheduled weekly meeting with the Henry County Board of Supervisors, County Engineer, Bill Belzer, said the county roads are in need of repair, and it could take years to fix them.
“Our gravel roads are substantially damaged and it’s going to take more than a summer or two to get them patched up,” Belzer said. “If we have a bad spring again…we’re going to have to protect them a lot more than we have.”
Belzer said there is a need for more gravel this year to patch and resurface the damaged roads. Most of the damage, according to Belzer, is in the southeast corner of the county.
The problem, according to Belzer, stems from the high concentration of moisture in the ground that has softened the roadbed and left it less dense. Belzer said the road conditions are attributed to more than “frost boils,” which occur when a void forms from ice, other contributing factors include drainage, rain, and extended periods of thaw this winter.
“The bright side is it’s not as bad as Des Moines County,” Belzer said. “They got hit with frost boils and water over the roads.”
The solution, Belzer said, would mean more gravel placed in a shorter amount of time and time for the ground to recover. Belzer said he was shortening the time that the county would be applying gravel to between mid June and the end of August so the gravel would have longer to work in before the onset of winter. According to Belzer the effort is going to cost the county more in gravel, but exact cost could be an additional 50 percent.
For more, see our May 26 print edition.