Craighead County Road Department Gearing Up for 2005

January 21, 2005 – Posted at 2:57 p.m. CST
CRAIGHEAD COUNTY -- The Craighead County Road Department has lots of work ahead of them this year. They’ve unveiled an ambitious construction plan for the 2005.
The dust is always flying on the old dirt roads in Craighead County, but folks who live on there aren't always happy with what they see. The Craighead County Road Department has about 150 petitions on file from residents who want improvements on their road.
“We've got over 1000 miles of gravel roads in Craighead County and its not very feasible to do them all,” said Ed Hill of the Craighead County Road.
But some roads will get a look from the road department, starting with where they left off in 2004. County Road 324 has been a significant project. Parts of the road have been widened, and ditches have been made more effective with culverts to prevent flooding.
Other top priories include County Road 353. It will be widened and raised to prevent flooding and prepped for future black topping.
In the southern part of the county, County Road 403 is considered a major project. Workers plan to clear timber, dig better ditches and raise the road.
County Roads 912 and 307 are both known to flood but after 2005 they will be high and dry.
The road department does get some money from the state every year. It's collected from sales tax, but that money can only be put towards certain projects.
“It's a pretty good amount and once you get a state aid road in existence you have to maintain it from then on or you take a chance of losing your state aid money. So we've got a list of state aid roads that we go by,” said Hill.
This year County Roads 118 and County Road 928 will be added to that list. Both roads will receive a new overlay of blacktop, and bridges work is also in order. Crew’s will replaces about 10 smaller bridges with new ones.
“Our bridges are 30 feet, so the opening will be a lot bigger underneath,” said Hill, “When we get heavy rains the rainwater can flow better. We've had some bad places but we're addressing them now, and if the weather would stay like this now we'll be in good shape.”
In addition to all of that new roadwork, the road department has to maintain over 1,000 miles of gravel road and about 160 miles of blacktop.