Money saved in mild winter may help roads

Money saved in mild winter may help roads

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The 2014 winter was one that will be hard to forget for highway departments in Region 8. 2015 has been much better, so far. 

Constant freezing and thawing tagged with sleet and snow building up left roads damaged. This winter has been mild in comparison, and as long as it stays that way, it could be good news for road workers. 

Craighead County Judge Ed Hill said that with the weather, it could mean more work gets done on the road.

"You have to maintain what you've got before you can justify building new, you know. So we're going to put a lot more money into maintenance this coming spring," Hill said.

"This year, we the quorum court, saw fit to up our asphalt budget quite a bit because it hadn't been raised since 2001 and the price of asphalt has probably more than doubled what it was then," Hill said.

With extra money being put into construction instead of maintenance, Hill said the county still has a lot more work to do. Damaged roads from last winter will get first priority.

While a lot of maintenance is going to be done within the next year, Hill said many dirt roads in the county will remain unpaved to save money. Hill claimed more miles of paved road could mean more maintenance.

"We're going to probably try to spend most of our money on getting the roads we got back in shapej. If we get the roads in the shape that we want them and we have money remaining, we'll do some new miles," Hill said.

With all of this being said there's still a little less than two months left in winter and that has Hill keeping his fingers crossed that this nice weather continues.

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