Converting road from asphalt to gravel irks some

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jun 05, 2013

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah – Officials with Tooele County said they lack the funds to fix potholes on a rural road, so instead they will replace the asphalt with gravel, which isn’t a popular plan with everyone.

Resident Shannon Fowles said she doesn’t think the county should tear up an entire road for a few pot holes.

“The majority of this road is good road,” she said. “There's less than a quarter that has pot holes in it. But they're wanting to tear out 12 miles of road.”

Fowles said if the county tears up Faust Road and puts down gravel her drive will increase by 30 minutes. She said they would rather deal with the potholes than a gravel road, even if the county can’t fix them.

“We joke a lot that I could have my eyes closed and know where the holes are and which ones to avoid,” she said.

Tooele County Spokesman Wade Matthews said the potholes are so bad that something must be done. He said it’s not practical to resurface the road completely, as they would have to take it back down to dirt and start over.

“There's a safety issue here,” he said. “Right now the condition of the road, it's patches of asphalt, pavement and then you hit potholes and gravel and then more pavement and potholes. It's just kind of a dangerous situation where people would be traveling typically at high rates of speed and hit the gravel.”

Matthews said a gravel road would be easier to maintain and would cost the county $30,000 as opposed to the $92,000 it would take to replace the road with asphalt.

But some drivers, like Rick Lybbert, said they think they should just replace only the bad sections with gravel.

“We understand they are short funded, and if there isn't money there isn't money, but to tear out the entire road just doesn't make sense,” he said.

Construction on the project is expected to begin June 24 and take about a month.