Road work

1STOCK NEMS Chickasaw Co HOUSHOUSTON – Chickasaw County closed one of the main roads in the community last week to install culverts under the thoroughfare west of town.

County Road 405 – also known at Houston-Thorn Road and Pittsboro Street – is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the community after Highways 15 and 8. Supervisors closed it Thursday and Friday to cut the road and lay two culverts in two separate spots.

“This is the time of year we start work on these projects,” said Chickasaw County District 2 Supervisor David Gene Walters. “We have had these culverts out here for about two or three months waiting for the weather to get right so we could put them in.”

Installing the massive three-foot diameter galvanized metal pipe was an all-day job that saw the old culvert dug up and pulled out. Crews came back, dug out and dropped the culvert to allow the area to drain better, packed fill dirt around it and leveled it with rollers.

Crushed rock was placed on top of the cut and will allow the dirt in the new cut to settle. The county will now come back and resurface the spot with asphalt.

“And we did it all with county workers,” said Walters. “Aside from the materials this won’t cost us anything extra.”

Walters said the county scheduled the work during spring break so as not to inconvenience buses, teachers and families on the way to Houston Upper Elementary School on Pittsboro Street with a detour.

Last week’s work is part of a larger plan to improve Thorn Road by the county.

Work on county roads is often limited by the weather and the season of the year.

The county traditionally doesn’t like to do jobs in the winter when rain can wash out projects and delay a contractor’s ability to work quickly.

Gravel roads harden in dry summer and fall weather and that can make grading gravel roads difficult.

State contract paving projects also require the temperature to be above 55-degrees and rising before asphalt can be laid. Asphalt put down on surfaces below 55-degrees will not stick to the road bed and quickly crumbles.

Last week’s project saw the work finished and the road reopened Friday afternoon.

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