County roads ready for winter

Friday, October 31, 2008
Pete Foster

With the weather becoming colder, there is some concern about the condition of county roads.

"We have done a lot of work on the roads in the last three months," Clay County Highway Superintendent Pete Foster told The Brazil Times. "The floods in June did a lot of damage, but the roads should hold together pretty well."

One issue that has come up in some of the surrounding counties has been the problem of obtaining enough salt to last through the winter, something Foster said is not a concern for Clay County.

"We were able to purchase 175 tons of salt, which is what we normally get," he said. "It has been tough for a lot of counties this year with the price of salt more than doubling because it was about $60 a ton last year and this year, we purchased ours at $130.82 a ton."

Foster added it is hard to gauge how much salt would be needed from year to year because how harsh a winter can be is very unpredictable. However, he did say the Clay County Highway Department has plenty of sand to use if it is a mild winter.

"If the temperature is above 40 degrees, we will use the sand, but if it drops near freezing or below we can't use sand because the moisture in it causes it to stick together and become a giant ball," Foster told The Brazil Times. "If the situation arises where we run out of salt, we can use a Black 11 or 13 aggregate to help give the roads additional traction."

He added even if it is a mild winter, there is still a chance a road here or there could become damaged.

"With the constant freeze/thaw effect in winter, it is almost inevitable that a couple of them could come apart," Foster said. "It is very difficult to determine what can happen during the course of the winter months, but all of our durapatchers are in good shape to make needed repairs."

Foster encourages county residents to contact the Clay County Highway Garage at 812-835-2091 to report damage to county roads.

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