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Raleigh Road pavement possibly unrepairable, county warns residents
Raleigh Road pavement possibly unrepairable, county warns residents

Rita Cowan explains her road problems to the Pulaski County Commission on Thursday.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (April 9, 2010) — Raleigh Road resident Rita Cowan would like to see the county improve the pavement on her road northwest of Waynesville, but Western District Commissioner Ricky Zweerink told her during Thursday morning’s county commission meeting that’s not possible and her road may actually have to be torn up and returned to gravel.

“This road wasn’t done right the first time and it is now falling apart,” Zweerink said.

The problems aren’t confined to Raleigh Road. Commissioner Bill Farnham said problems are actually worse in his eastern district since his roads often received heavier traffic and he’s got more paved roads since developers wanted pavement so they could sell homes to Fort Leonard Wood soldiers who aren’t used to rural life and gravel roads.

“My point is I don’t know what to do about it. To put in a mile and a half it would cost I don’t know how much,” Zweerink said. “Our whole budget for asphalt is about $110,000.”

Farnham told Cowan that the city of St. Robert paid about $90,000 to put in about a third of a mile of pavement on Eastlawn Avenue near city hall, and that’s caused people to ask why he doesn’t pave Texas Road from the east end of Eastlawn down to several rural subdivisions outside the St. Robert city limits.

“We just don’t have the money,” Farnham said. “I have Texas Road in my district which you’ve probably heard of. It’s been a nightmare for my crew … The main thing is you’ve got to have your drainage put in right, first.

However, Zweerink said there are things Cowan can do to improve her road. A major problem, Zweerink said, is that residents have refused to allow the county to put in culverts and drainage ditches, and the lack of proper water drainage is causing serious problems that are undermining the road.

“We can make you a better road. We could afford to do that, but we cannot afford asphalt,” Zweerink said. “I know it’s a problem and I don’t know what to do about it… I took a few licks for saying we’ll need to take up the asphalt, but that’s part of the job.”

Cowan asked why the county road workers are putting brown gravel into potholes and said that’s making the potholes worse.

That’s not correct, Zweerink said. What’s commonly known as “waste base” is a mix that tightly compacts and preserves the road by keeping the potholes from getting even worse.

Eventually the pavement will have to be torn up entirely, Zweerink said, but the waste base may delay that day.

“It’s a mess, and I know it’s a mess. We’ve put a lot of effort into keeping it patched,” Zweerink said. “I’ve put the word out it’s bad and we can’t fix it, so we’ll see how bad it gets before people can’t stand it.”

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