March 15, 2008
ASPHALT AND THROW IT IN THE HOLES”
Believe it or not, the above sentence is a direct quote from the county
engineer when he was asked about resurfacing and/or patching Jackson Lake Road at the March BOC
meeting. To be fair, he went on to say that “doing a perfect job was a waste of
time.” The engineer said he felt
that patching and resurfacing Jackson Lake Road was a waste of time and money
and that the only way to fix it was to reclaim it—that is completely tear it up
and re-do it.
BUT by looking at
the way roads are patched in Jasper
County right now it
appears that that is exactly what is done—throw asphalt in the holes and go on.
See examples--click image to make it larger:
Asphalt is “thrown in the hole”, not smoothed over,
doesn’t even fill the hole. The patch
sticks up above the road making for a rough ride. This is why when it rains or
freezes the asphalt comes loose and you have a pothole again.
Someone must have forgotten to throw some asphalt in this one, even
though the one next to it got “fixed.”
Unfortunately, we don’t do “half-way patching,” much less “perfect”
patching in Jasper
County roads are little
more than a maze of patching and re-patching.
Jasper County roads are not and have not
been maintained on a regular basis. The
sides completely disappear into a mass of potholes or as with this road, sink
down a foot lower than the rest of the road.
Potholes are patched and re-patched. Why?
Why not do a good job, the best job, every time? It would cost less in the long run.
Jasper County has a Public Works
Director that has been employed with the county for 20 years. The Director assured the Commissioners he knew how
to operate the new equipment they purchased and could use it to maintain the
roads. However, Comm. Pennamon informed
the BOC and citizens in attendance at the March meeting that the Public Works
Dep’t had just paid to have the Public Works people trained on the new
equipment. The engineer has
said more than once that he is training the
Public Works Director. The Public
Works Director just got a $1,156 per year raise and now makes $45,731
per year. He is one of the highest paid employees in
the County. Do we get our monies worth?
was a real shocker when the Engineer said Jasper County
should hire a contractor to do the work on Jackson Lake Road because “you don’t have
the equipment in this county.” Comm.
Pennamon said, “We just bought a chip spreader, can’t we use that?” The engineer agreed that it could be used,
but that “triple surface” would be a rougher ride than asphalt.
Comm. Pennamon commented, “Why not go ahead and fix road with what we got? Not
just let the road go. Go ahead and fix
it.” The Engineer said triple surface
would last 2 years if you put a real thin layer and not spend much on it. He doesn’t want to spend a lot of money so
the County can wait on State money
and then do it right. According to the
engineer Jackson Lake Road has 5000 to 7000 cars a day travel on it from Hwy 16
to Hwy 212—the only portion being considered for paving and patching.
then made a motion to “reclaim the road, by borrowing money, using all
contingency money in 2007and 2008, and use any surplus money the County has to
go ahead and do Jackson Lake Rd. Comm. Yarbrough 2nd.
engineer said the road should be added to the SPLOST list because you get better
prices. (This road is already on the SPLOST list—2nd group of
roads.) Comm. Yarbrough said the County
needs to wait at least 6 months to see if we hear anything about State money
before anything is done. “If we don’t
think we’ll get anything from the State, then consider doing it on our own.”
Bernard said, “Jackson Lake Road
needs to be paved as soon as possible at $1.5 Million, funding it using any surplus,
contingencies, and limited borrowings not to exceed 5 years.” Comm. Johnson said he wants to do something
with the road, but not borrow money. Comm.
Pennamon said, “We need to do something now with triple surface. Spend $50,000 now and move on.” The Engineer said the County should only do
bad areas. Comm. Pennamon said we need
to do the whole road. The engineer emphasized
that it would cost much more than $50,000.
more than a ½ hour of discussion, the BOC finally voted 5-0 to have the
Engineer bring back three cost proposals: 1. Triple surface entire road; 2. Triple
surface bad areas only; and 3. Cost of reclaiming road and completely re-doing
Every road in Jasper County
needs to be considered. Not for total
repaving or patching, but for timely road maintenance so that the roads don’t
completely go to “pot” as they are doing and have been doing for the last 10 years. This includes maintaining our dirt roads so
trees aren’t growing up in what used to be the ditches along side the
roads. Road maintenance should be one of
the top priorities of the Commissioners.