Saturday, May 25, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
Corky Wagner of Falls City Public Works spreads gravel along Cameron Street Monday. Gravel road repair work in Falls City has been ongoing since Jan. 23.
February 05, 2013
FALLS CITY -- Streets around Falls City -- the gravel roads anyway -- have been muddy and messy in recent weeks as city crews performed regular maintenance.
City officials have asked for patience from residents as the city's small public works crew makes its way through the majority of the gravel roadways in town grading and repairing drainage problems. The project began Jan. 23.
City Administrator Amber Mathiesen said similar road work is completed each year. Grading on gravel roads pulls embedded gravel to the surface, fills in potholes, and smooths bumps that develop over time. The process, while inconvenient at times, reduces the cost of maintaining gravel roads, she said.
A few residents were worried that the city didn't have the material and funds to finish the project and wondered when the roads would be returned to a more passable state. Many of those issues were voiced on Falls City's Facebook page, where city administration posted responses to concerns.
Mathiesen acknowledged those issues, but said last week most of the repairs were finished and the city had budgeted adequately for the project.
"From the residents perspective, those were likely perceived as valid concerns," she said, noting that the grader used for the project wasn't available when anticipated. "We did have some extenuating circumstances. ... The timing wasn't as nice and clean as we originally expected."
This week, crews spread additional gravel where needed and wrapped up drainage and shoulder work.
Mathiesen said the crews would need to apply a little more gravel than expected because of rainfall at the end of the work schedule. She said that would round out this particular project, but noted road work is an ongoing, year-round process.
"I wouldn't say that roads are ever done," she said. "They are a living, breathing thing and it's never really done."