Photo by Sue Watson
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett expresses his opinion on the need for inspectors on site when contractors repair road surfaces.
Winter causes road damages
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors have had road and bridge crews out repairing winter freeze damages.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett said road crews are just “patching stuff up” but “we need some sunshine and warm weather for it to dry up, first.”
The real work of repairing county roads damaged by two hard winter freezes will probably take place in a month or more. It’s too early to make any headway while road surfaces are wet.
Other work supervisors have wanted to complete includes construction of a detention pond on a lot at Carriage Manor Subdivision, and doing dirt work for the construction of the new workforce training center is waiting for better weather as well.
Supervisors discussed how road repairs and surface work are holding up that was done a year or more ago.
Bennett reported problems with the CCC Road where a soil cement base has not held up after one year.
“This year’s freeze tore it up,” Bennett said.
“If it’s coming apart, we have to fix it,” said supervisor Keith Taylor.
Bennett asked who is inspecting these jobs when they are being done, adding that a contractor won’t inspect his own work when no one is around to watch.
Britt said an inspector checks the cement, the design, the road pattern, the water, and densities as the road is under repair.
“There needs to be an inspector there and it should be in the bid,” Bennett said. “We need somebody out there when they are doing the work, no matter who is doing the work.”
Supervisor George Zinn III said at a recent trip to a convention he heard prices they pay for two inches of asphalt overlay are much cheaper per mile than in north Mississippi.
Britt said there is more competition in the southern end of the state while up north there are fewer bidders.
“In our area we normally get two bids,” Britt said. “Further east they may have more bidders. It’s all about competition.”
“When south Mississippi bidders come up here, they are not competitive,” said chancery clerk Chuck Thomas.
“In your opinion, do you think we need a board order to have an inspection on site - put it in the bid, or have our own man out there?” asked supervisor Charles Terry.
“They don’t need their inspectors there,” Bennett said. “We need our inspector in there.”
Terry asked whether a board order is needed to require an inspector on site when road repair is underway.
“DeSoto County has their own man out there,” Thomas said.
“They look at the tickets (loads of material hauled) to make sure the contractor is putting down what is supposed to be there.”
Zinn said it was not necessary to question a contractor’s honesty, but “that’s a lot of money” the county is spending.
“I’ve never seen soil cement break down unless it doesn’t have cement in it,” Bennett said. “It doesn’t take a genius to inspect it. They are going to do what they can to save a nickel.”
Terry suggested the topic be discussed again at a later meeting.
Taylor said the inspector’s cost should be built into the bid price.
“It’s important the inspector do that test including the rolling pattern on asphalt and the right cement-to-water ratio in soil cement.”
“It’s very important,” Bennett said.
Terry asked about a guard rail on Hernando Road that needs to be reinforced.
Britt said State Aid wants to put riprap there and that if that does not work, then the state will have to put a retaining wall.