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HIGHWAY DEPT: Gravel roads create problems

February 16, 2012


COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County Highway Department Superintendent Michael Barton has been dealing with gravel roads for over 30 years.
He’s still getting the same calls. “Most phone calls this time of year deal with gravel. We try to work on that between snow periods,” Barton said.

Barton said at this time of year, frost is getting under the ground and roads are saturated with either rain or snow that has melted.
According to Barton, that is the perfect mixture for creating potholes on gravel roads.

Barton said it is difficult to target a specific area because the county has over 100 miles of gravel road.

“You try to find the bad runs of holes and get stoned out,“ said Barton. “When we put stone down, you’re tailgating 10 tons and you catch some of the worst ones and you catch some of the little ones.”

Barton said that the department has to budget for all road work, not just filling potholes. Barton said the department is trying to tap resources that the department to devote as much as it can to the roads.
One such resource is putting down slab as opposed to limestone, the more costly material.

“We do the best we can,” Barton finished.
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