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Supervisors survey roads damaged by winter weather

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / District Two work crew Jon Athon (from left), Gerald Wilson and James May spent all day Tuesday repairing damage to county roadways as a result of extreme weather conditions.

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / District Two work crew Jon Athon (from left), Gerald Wilson and James May spent all day Tuesday repairing damage to county roadways as a result of extreme weather conditions.

The freezing temperatures suffered in recent weeks have had a heavy impact on county roadways, and road repair crews intend to spend the rest of the week working on the problem, said county administrator David Fields Tuesday.

“The weather has been devastating to our roads. Efforts are now under way to make repairs,” Fields noted.

The extreme cold, coupled with the weight of accumulated ice, contracts the pavement. When the temperature warms enough to melt the ice, the pavement expands resulting in split and cracked roadways. Water then lodges under patches of roadway often resulting in chunks of broken asphalt.

As large trucks travel on these same damaged roads, the conditions can get even worse, Fields said.

On Tuesday, board supervisors could be seen surveying damage firsthand on roads throughout their districts.

In District Two, Jimmy Diamond’s crew started road repair work on Old Red Star Drive.

“We are starting with heavily trafficked roads first,” said District Two Supervisor Diamond, who was with a road crew all day Tuesday. “As we get these roads patched up, we will move throughout the rest of our districts.”

By mid-afternoon, workers were on Clear Branch Lane using coal mix to patch the potholes, then using a shovel to smooth out the roadway surface.

Diamond expects the crews to continue road repair work well into the weekend.

“We will continue work all week and into Friday and Saturday, more than likely,” he said.

Meanwhile, other supervisors spent the day in similar fashion, mentioned Fields. “All five supervisors have been dealing with this issue. They have spent the day checking for damage to the pavement in their districts and with road crews.”

District road crews have been making repairs as quickly as possible; still, area motorists should heed caution while driving Fields suggested.

“People should realize that the recent weather has left some roadways a hazard. People should take their time and drive cautiously.”

Although the county budgets for road repairs of this nature, the extreme weather conditions this year have resulted in extensive and widespread damage that will likely incur higher than normal expenses.

On Tuesday, Fields said he wanted county residents to be aware that the supervisors are aware of the issue, and that steps are being taken to alleviate the problem.

“The road crews are out there working on the problem. I’d like residents to be aware of this,” Fields said.