There’s an old saying that all roads lead to home. But for one neighborhood, it’s that road that is the problem.

There’s an old saying that all roads lead to home. But for one neighborhood, it’s that road that is the problem.

At Tuesday’s Crawford County Commission meeting, the homeowners in the 900 block of S. 250th St. tasked commissioners with fixing a road they say has fallen apart.

“Unfortunately, a lot of money has been spent on our road. We feel like our lifestyle has changed in what has gone down there,” said spokesperson Brad Radell. “The days are gone when you could take your grandchild in a stroller up and down the road or run along the road. It changes the way we’re going to live.”

In particular, the road had been asphalted several years ago. But over the years, more than $66,000 worth of improvements have been made to keep the road operational.

Recently, the county has ground up the road in preparation of work to be done to put in a new base for the road, before improvements are made next spring.

“The road base was never put in right to begin with,” said commissioner Ralph McGeorge.
“The road base was never there. So we had to grind up the road and put in a road base.”

Homeowners were also concerned with the road’s safety and truck traffic causing problems in the now-gravel road. Further, the homeowners said that the gravel road is hurting their property values, which ultimately hurts the county.

The timing of the road grinding caused some frustration, as some of the homeowners along the road felt that tearing up the road from asphalt to gravel before the winter would make the road muddy.

“The point is, the residents of the road will go through the season in muck and mire,” said Jon Prideaux. “The road wasn’t perfect, but it was a hell of a lot better than it is now.”

While the county commissioners admitted that they should have alerted the homeowners of the plans to tear up the road and the plans going forward, the timing was something that couldn’t be avoided.

“There’s probably not a good time for this to happen. In the spring, it’d kick up dust and people wouldn’t like the dust,” McGeorge said. “In the fall, there’s muck, and people wouldn’t like that. They built the road, and we’ve doubled the cost to build the road because it wasn’t built right. It’s been an effort trying to save that road. Just because it’s nice doesn’t mean it’s a good road. We’ll work over the winter to make sure we have a solid base.”

Commissioners told the group that work would continue through the winter to compact the road to create a strong base, as well as filling the  soft spots.

This will create a compact, strong base that the county will then place pud rock on top of, before likely laying a two-inch layer of asphalt in May or June.

After the homeowners left, McGeorge and the other commissioners praised the group for uniting about the issue.

“The thing I appreciate is neighborhoods coming together and solving a problem,” he said. “It’s a good signal when you have good cooperation in a neighborhood that people care about their roads. This is a good road to look at as a lesson road.”

In other action at Tuesday’s meeting, the commission:

• heard that the Southridge district has been given the go-ahead to start the bond process after a petition had been approved by the bond council.

• said that the new county commission web site was expected to be up and running by the end of next week.

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 132.