Tuesday, August 4, 2009

WTF Part 3

I'm really starting to wonder who the hell is in charge of our Dept. Of Transportation, if they're even elected, and how the hell I can get them fired. Beyond that even, who looks at county road projects and says 'Ya' or 'Nay', because they are also on my list of people with whom I'm quickly losing patience.

I understand that our weather here isn't the most accommodating when it comes to road construction. We have 3 months of hot followed by 9 months of cold, sideways rain. Everything has to be squeezed into a horribly small time period. That doesn't excuse blatant stupidity. For example, in a very large flood early this year, a portion of road was washed out right outside town, but not on a 'main' route. It was hastily patched, and included a HUGE speed bump asphalt dump type thing. It stayed there for 7+ months. A friend mentioned the other day they had taken it out so I decided to drive out and take a look. They did take it out. They also left in its wake an unmarked section of (now) gravel about 10 feet long at the peak of a hill in a 50 mph zone with gullies on both sides. Smart, real smart.

Friday I drove out to the Logger's to check out the chickens and the garden and came to a section of road that had been completely torn out. It isn't even gravel anymore. It's just ungraded dirt. I drove, and drove and drove. By the end of it I realized they had torn out probably 6 miles or so of road. I'd swear it was longer, closer to 10. The road wasn't in amazing shape, but it worked. It's a back country road that's basically only used by the people who live on it or have a reason to be down there.

I asked around and found out that the county decided to remove a set of 'dangerous s-curves' somewhere in the middle of this mess. To do so, they had to buy out a portion of a family's hay field (that was full of hay). Apparently removing an asinine amount of road from each side was also required. Moreover, they did this prior to one of the hottest weekends of the year, when the road is actually traveled a lot because of its easy river access. Now it has huge potholes and they are going to have to re-grate it all before they do a thing to fix it.

The 'hazard corners' in question

There are a few things in this world that get my goat, but this sort of thing is one of them.


  1. We long since quit fixing any but the state roads here in the mountains of North Georgia. If you live on a secondary road, or, even worse, a gravel road, good luck. The county has laid off most of the county road crew, and sold off some of the equipment that there was no longer anyone to operate. It's sort of sliding into a twilight Third World up here.

  2. Hermit: Honestly, if the road was in disrepair I'd understand. This road is totally fine. I don't understand how 'fixing' a corner in the middle of nowhere, that really isn't a problem, is a good plan. We have plenty of roads that need to be repaired and should be much much higher on the priorities list.

  3. Maggy,
    In my experience the road commission has its budget set by the county commission. Then (just like all tax-eaters) they reward their friends and punish their enemies, with OUR money. The public can have some small say in how the money is allocated, and which projects get approved.

    If you get involved, and offer your perspective (waaaay short of getting anyone fired) you can make a difference. It will require a lot of your time.

    Personally, I have not been impressed with the road construction planning process, either in Macomb County Michigan, or in Huntington County Indiana. They need good people to help.


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