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Progress under way rebuilding Warren County’s roads

The Warren County paving crew works mid-summer to repair Library Avenue in Warrensburg. This in-house paving team is credited for saving taxpayers many thousands of dollars, as well as fast completion of work rebuilding roads from the summer’s devastating storms.

The Warren County paving crew works mid-summer to repair Library Avenue in Warrensburg. This in-house paving team is credited for saving taxpayers many thousands of dollars, as well as fast completion of work rebuilding roads from the summer’s devastating storms. Photo by Thom Randall.

— This week, a county crew was able to get back to rebuilding and resurfacing Potter Brook Road in Northern Warrensburg.

The work includes new culverts and drainage ditches, and in some stretches, new road-beds.

Tennyson noted that county-owned bridges held up well under the onslaught of water from the storms.

“There was no significant bridge damage,” he said.

One reason the bridges withstood the storm stress was preventative work on bridges accomplished earlier this year, he said. One example is the Hudson Street Bridge in Johnsburg, where the county crews restored abutments damaged by scouring in April, then poured concrete shields for these bridge supports to handle heavy water flows.

In rebuilding after the summer storms, the county has been upgrading culverts and roadside drainage to accommodate heavier stormwater flows, he said.

Many of the culverts replaced are smooth heavy-duty plastic, rather than corrugated metal or concrete, and debris passes through easier, so they are less likely to plug up and cause a road washout, Tennyson said.

In some cases, the county —— on the advice of their own engineers — has devised a new way to handle those 200-year storms.

County workers are not only replacing culverts and re-aligning streams, but in some locations they are installing secondary culverts nearby that can handle overflow if the primary culvert gets overwhelmed or plugged with debris, Tennyson said.

One reason the county has been able to recover from the storm quickly — and not bust the budget — has been that the county operates its own paving crew. Having an in-house crew means more flexible re-scheduling as well as pay rates that are far lower than prevailing premium labor rates that contractors charge.

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