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Grayson roads in bad shape

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — While it may be stating the obvious, Grayson supervisors let the Virginia Department of Transportation know that roads in Grayson are in bad shape.

Matthew Cox of VDOT was on hand to take maintenance concerns during the supervisors' meeting March 11.

Vice Chairman Doug Carrico simply stated that he could pick any dirt road in Grayson County, and "They're all bad now," he told Cox.

"I don't know how some school buses are making it. The pot holes are getting bad and roads are breaking up pretty much everywhere."

Carrico asked Cox if VDOT could get any disaster relief money.

Cox explained that Grayson had qualified for some reimbursements for FEMA money, but that it was solely for snow removal.

"As far as repair, it's not so much a matter of funds. We're going to fix what we need to," Cox told supervisors, noting that March is a tough month to get work done on roads as they continue to go through the freeze and thaw cycle.

"We are trying to Band-Aid these roads until they can be repaired," Cox said.

With all the moisture the county has received in snow and rain, Cox said it's difficult to get a handle on the roads, but once the weather gets more stable, the department will begin fixing the roads.

Supervisor Joe Vaughan agreed with Carrico and said that there needed to be some gravel put down on most dirt roads.

"Some of them are real bad," Vaughan said. "I know you're doing the best you can."

Cox again stated that over the next few weeks, VDOT should be able to evaluate the road conditions and fix problems.

Supervisor Mike Maynard commended VDOT employees on their hard work to clear the roads this winter.

"You can really tell the work that's been done over the last several months," Maynard said. "Even on the worst snowing days, there wasn't any problems on the main roads... Y'all did a nice job on that."

Chairman Larry Bartlett then asked Cox to look into a culvert going across Delhart Road.

Bartlett said vehicles traveling north on the road must switch into the left lane to avoid the culvert, which puts them on the wrong side of the road as they start over a small hill.

Cox explained that Gov. Bob McDonnell declared the start of a “Pothole Blitz” earlier this month. The effort is aimed at fixing potholes throughout the month of March.

"That's a big focus," Cox said of the effort. "Most of our plant-mix roads are in good shape... gravel roads, it's been tough and surface treat roads... we are going to have to do some patching."

Bartlett also asked Cox to look into a section on Snow Hill Road near Snow Hill Church.

Bartlett said members of the church have a recreational area just below the main building and that cars are driving fast on the road where there is no site distance because of buildings.

Bartlett noted he wasn't looking for a speed reduction, but possibly a sign warning that people may be near the roadway up ahead.

Cox said he would take a look at it and see what VDOT could do.

As for the roads, "it's been a long winter... I'm definitely glad to be getting a little bit of a thaw,” he said.