Roads Department blading, spot rocking on gravel roads

Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss said a good, hard rain will help pack dirt and improve travel roads after the long winter.

During a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 23, Hotchkiss said that there are spots in the county where roads are looking really good and other spots where the roads need some work. The best way to fix gravel roads is with a hard rain and blading, he said.

“You can throw (spot) rock at it all day long, but blading is what does the most good,” Hotchkiss said, adding that a month ago, the department had used 8,000 tons of spot rock this spring.

Hotchkiss said the frost is out of the roads now and the tops of the roads have dried out. Now they need some moisture to compact gravel roads.

Last week, territory operators were in their blades every day, hauled resurfacing rock and continued seeding operations throughout the county.

The Roads Department installed crossroad pipe on 190th Street off Franklin Avenue and 265th Street. They repaired crossroad pipe on 170th Street, worked on a ditching project on 190th Street and prepared for bridge repair on Iowa Avenue east of Old 218.

Throughout the spring and summer, Hotchkiss said the department will continue with their road construction plan; however, with 550 miles of road it takes time.

Hotchkiss said he appreciates the public’s continued patience with the condition of gravel roads.

In other news, supervisors approved the third reading of an ordinance to rezone the Mt. Union Community building at 208 East Lehew Street in Mt. Union. The land was changed from an R-2 community residential zone to a C-2 community commercial zone.

The building was recently purchased by a private resident who would like to rent it out to community members to use for family functions, wedding parties, community activities and other events, supervisors said.