TRAFALGAR, Ind. — A mother who bought her home a year ago said she didn't know it would be so difficult to get there, and she brought her complaints about the state of her road to CBS4 Problem Solvers.
Driving along Gold Point Road in the northern part of Brown County this spring proved to be slow going, as potholes opened up along the way. Amanda Abell and her neighbors said the road was transitioned from pavement to gravel a few years ago. Plus, the east side of the road closed last year after county officials discovered a bridge was so badly damaged that it needed an emergency closure.
"There's only one way in and one way out," Abell said. "It's just horrible."
Abell contacted CBS4 Problem Solvers after she couldn't get much of a response from the county's highway department. An email in late April indicated that the potholes would be filled, but it's unclear whether that happened, since a visit in May found cars still swerving to dodge them.
"They're so big and starting to be so wide," Abell said.
CBS4 Problem Solvers took Abell's concerns to Brown County Highway Superintendent Mike Magner, who said that this year's record rainfall and flooding made it difficult to grade the gravel on Gold Point Road and get rid of the potholes.
"We’ll actually dig down to the depth of the bottom of the hole, loosen all that material up and then re-spread it, roll it up, and smooth it out," Magner said.
After CBS4 first spoke with Magner, his crews did show up and grade the road to get rid of the potholes. He said typically, his crews will grade each gravel road, which total about half of the 400 miles of road countywide, two or three times a year.
Abell, who said she moved to Brown County because her family loves it so much and wanted to make it their permanent home, would prefer to see the road repaved and the gravel removed.
"The gravel needs to go," Abell said. "It's just getting worse and worse."
Magner, however, said that converting the road back to pavement would cost far too much for the county to afford.
"If we were to go back and convert a gravel road now into a paved road, you’re looking at more like $250,000 a mile, so it’s very expensive," Magner said.
In the meantime, a visit to the road last week found that it had been graded, and the potholes had not yet reappeared. Magner also said he expected the bridge to be repaired this fall in order to reopen the east side of the road to traffic.
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