Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Winston Supervisors Hear from Citizens on Condition of Harper Road

The Winston County Supervisors met in a regularly scheduled meeting on August 17th. Several local citizens including James Jordan were on the agenda to express concerns about the condition of Harper Road in District 4.

The rural paved road has been heavily damaged due to heavy truck trafficin recent weeks.  The damage comes from trucks moving dirt from a pit on the road to area construction sites. Jordan indicated that at times there were 3 trucking companies hauling out of a dirt pit accessed by the road to area construction sites.

Supervisors were aware of the issue and had at one time shut the road down for repair. Said Gloria Turnipseed, Supervisor District 4, " I have shut them down once for two days. I have talked to all of them and some work has been done but it was not graded properly. In my opinion the road is ruined."

Supervisors noted that these haulers have the right to use the public road but they don't have the right to tear it up. County Attorney Hugh Hathorn told the Board that there must be a balance between residents on the road and landowner of the pit. He noted there is only one route in and out of the property and the heavy use has created a nuisance.

 Hathorn informed the Board that statute indicates that supervisors have jurisdiction over county roads. Harper Road is a county maintained road and not eligible for state aid. Hathorn indicated that supervisors could regulate the number of loads allowed over the road or apply other conditions.

It was also noted that there was concern about health hazards from the dust raised by the truck traffic and if the situation is not remedied, truck traffic could be shut down in this area.

Board President Mike Peterson said he would call all haulers involved after the board meeting on Monday and explain the situation and hope that they will do the right thing.

 Jordan also had concerns that once the hauling was completed out of the pit area, would the road be repaired back and paved back to the level that it was before. The Board indicated that was up to the specific supervisor, any recourse against those who damaged the road and the funds available.