Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — After the large amounts of rain recently Henry County roads were a mess.
“They were sloppy,” County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss said as he addressed the Henry County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Gravel roads are an especially hot topic in rural Iowa with the amount of rain that has been seen this past month.
Some Henry County residents have made complaints about the roads leading to their rural homes.
While Hotchkiss conceded that the roads were sloppy last week, he reassures residents that the county is doing the best they can to maintain the roads considering the rain and upcoming drier days.
“We have a very good gravel road network in our county in comparison to the state of Iowa,” Hotchkiss said. “I think the complaints we do get we are not dealing with mud. We are dealing with the fines.”
“When you want rock to tie down, you need those fines in there,” Hotchkiss said in explanation. “After the blading we’ve been doing, it does bring those fines up faster and then when it’s a soaking rain they kind of … do come up with traffic.”
Hotchkiss understands the frustrations with sliding and getting dirty during these notable rains, however, he is optimistic.
“The forecast now looking out looks good for us,“ Hotchkiss said. ”They were sloppy.“
A request for understanding was made by Hotchkiss with reminders that roads, much like fields, will struggle with the amount of rain we had.
In preparation for these drier days Hotchkiss does say that the calcium, which helps with dust control, does contribute to the amount of water retained, but the county is at the mercy of the weather.
W55 north still closed to traffic
Work on W55 North continues as sub drains were installed this past week between, and sometimes through the rains.
During construction and unpredictable weather Henry County continues to seek further road improvements.
For specific county road concerns Jake Hotchkiss can be contacted at secondary roads department office via phone (319) 385-0762