The Mountain State: Almost Heaven, Bad Roads
I love living in a rural area. I have a 45 minute commute each day and I wouldn’t change it for the world, however, in the past few years my commute has become more and more of a daily challenge. I can take a few different routes, on back roads or main roads, to get to work each morning. Lately, I have found there are several questions I ask myself each morning to determine what the best route would be. Some things I take into consideration in trying to map out my morning commute are whether there’s a “super load” coming through, and which road it is on. What condition is the road in? For instance, how many potholes, slips, etc., will I encounter? I also consider where the pipelines are going through or where a well is being drilled, because usually that means a LOT more traffic on that roadway—everything from workers going to the job site, to tractor trailers hauling heavy equipment.
It’s sad when you wake up and it’s raining and you’re happy because you know you won’t have to deal with the traffic because the workers are rained out. There is no doubt that the oil and gas boom of the past several years has boosted our economy and put people back to work and I am all for that, but there’s a price to pay for all of this progress and unfortunately all of the traffic, hauling of heavy equipment, etc., has taken a toll on our local roads. They simply weren’t constructed to handle the heavy loads and major traffic that they see now. There are three major slips on a seven mile stretch of my ridge alone. These are severe slips that have taken what once was a narrow, two-lane road, and turned it into a narrow, one-lane road. In some places it is barely wide enough for a school bus to get through which, in my opinion, is a safety concern.
Most of the roads in Marshall County and neighboring counties are in very bad shape, especially the rural ones, with multiple slips, pot holes, etc. The “solution” seems to be to put out a few orange barrels or signs and have people try to navigate around the problem area, rather than fix it. I have seen a couple of really good repairs on some of the ridges but was told that the oil and gas companies are the ones who actually repaired them. We constantly hear that the state has no money to fix the roads—why is that? I’m not really sure who should be responsible for the repairs, but wouldn’t it be nice if someone would step up to the plate and get the roads fixed for the safety of everyone?
Today's blog: Getting sick of dodging potholes on your daily commute? We are too - Sheila Cottrell mimics all of our feelings about the current state of our "Almost Heavenly" roadways on the blog today.