Residents complain about River Road

BEDFORD – Louise Combs addressed the commissioners Tuesday morning about concerns of safety on River Road.

Combs who lives on River Road along with 10 other families is concerned.

“The road is nearly impassable,” she said. “It is extremely bad and dangerous. I don’t mind having a dirty car, but I don’t like having to replace the fenders and rims on my car.”

Combs said during the recent snow storms the road was impossible to travel. Combs told the commissioners the road was only plowed one time during the recent snow storms.

Postal services have refused to deliver mail and packages, trash companies have refused to pick up trash, and contractors hired by residents will not travel the road due to safety concerns.

“I am not asking for a miracle but for the safety of the 10 families living on the River Road,” Combs added.

Highway Superintendent David Holmes added. “There is no doubt the road is extremely challenging for us.”

The commissioners did not address the issues during the meeting.

Holmes told the commissioners crews are cold patching roads and preparing roads for spring paving.

The commissioners awarded the Community Crossing funds grant to Milestone Contractors. The county received two bids on the paving projects. Milestone submitted the lowest bid.

Other bids for the regular paving season were taken under advisement.

Holmes reported the asphalt plants should open around March 20th and crews will begin paving county roads.

Crews are also working on repairing yard damages that the snow plows caused during the recent snowfalls.

David Holmes

“We had some trucks get off the roads and we are working on repairing that damage,” said Holmes. “I know a lot of people were not happy and had concerns with snow removal. But if they were to sit in one of those trucks those long hours they may change their tunes. It is tough when it snows like that.”

So far in 2021, the county has spent more than $138,000 on sand and salt (a mixture of 80 percent sand, 20 percent salt), and $24,300 in overtime.

“That doesn’t include straight time or fuel costs,” added Holmes.

Holmes told the commissioners the federal retro-reflective signage project for District 1 continues. Signs have been replaced on Popcorn Road. The signs in the district marked with orange paint will be replaced.

The county received $552,240 in federal transportation funds to replace road signs to meet the latest federal retro-reflective standards set by the Federal Highway Administration. These funds will not replace road name signs.

Holmes told the commissioners work should begin this month on Bridge 62 on Huron Williams Road and Bridge 124 on Stonington Road.

Work continues on Bridge 150 on Mill Creek Road.

Work on Bridge 172 on Cement Plant/Slaughterhouse Road will begin in 2026. The cost of that project is estimated at $2.2 million and will be paid for with federal aid funds.