Challenges Faced In Repairing Stephens Roads, Says County

Stephens County Public Works Director Tim Mitchem said his crews are doing the best they can to keep up with road repairs and maintenance throughout the county.

Mitchem spoke to county commissioners about the county’s road situation on Tuesday.

Stephens County Administrator Phyllis Ayers said there is a backlog of county roads in dire need of repair and adds that the county government is aware of it.

Mitchem said that his department faces numerous problems in trying to keep up with all of the repairs that are needed across the county more than 300 miles of road.

He said one of the problems is the weather that Stephens County has seen.

“We are off coming off of a bitter cold winter,” said Mitchem. “We had a wet summer and now we are having more wet weather. That is conditions for disaster.”

In addition, he said the county must have certain weather conditions in order to lay asphalt down on a road.

Besides weather, Mitchem said his department faces personnel challenges in trying to keep up with needed repairs.

“I have 15 (people) that we can do some of these things, but we are getting into some of the repairs we need to do are more skilled,” said Mitchem. “They are more difficult.”

Mitchem said that the county also faces financial realities when trying to keep up with road repairs and maintenance.

“Any mile of pavement, you are looking at $100,000,” said Mitchem.

Mitchem said these are not problems unique to Stephens County and are currently being seen across the state.

Stephens County Commission Chairman Dean Scarborough said the commission understands the situation, especially when it comes to the financial side of it.

“That is one of the reasons why we put so much emphasis on our SPLOST vote for roads and bridges,” said Scarborough. “That is our number one concern.”

Stephens County allocated more than $10 million of its projected SPLOST VI collections for work on roads and bridges across the county.

SPLOST VI collections begin on July 1.