The state of the roads after the winter weather

Ty Thompson
Press Argus-Courier
Crawford County Court in Van Buren is seen before the snow melted in February. County street crews are working to maintain the roads after snow and ice impacted the streets.

After the recent snow and ice, Crawford County was faced with record-breaking temperatures with 4-6 inches of snow covering area cities.

During that time, road crews across the county worked to keep the streets safe, but now they are continuing to work to maintain them.

Mark Yardley, director of Public Works in Alma, said the biggest challenge they are currently facing is clearing away the sand.

 "It is now a nuisance and potentially a hazard being on the dry roads," Yardley said. "Our crew has been working on cleanup this week, but we still have a long way to go."

Large amounts of sand on the road can eventually collect into drains and waterways and cause blockage problems.

Alma experienced a shortage of sand during the winter weather that began on Valentine's Day as their supplier was closed down. They focused their use of sand on bridges and slopes around the city to better utilize what they had, officials said.

As far as the state of the roads themselves, Yardley said most problems may not show up for a few months.

"There were certainly a few potholes that had to be filled," Yardley said.

Chris Keith, road superintendent in Crawford County, said there are a few places around the county that froze and thawed which led to minor damage to the streets. But overall, he said, it isn't too bad.

"We worked hard to keep the ice off the roads," Keith said. "Getting the ice off before it can thaw really helps keeps that from happening."

Ice on roads will melt and seep into the cracks of the pavement which softens it. When the ice refreezes it expands and creates problems such as cracks and potholes, Keith explained.

Keeping the ice off the roads before it could thaw and refreeze was the main focus of the county to make sure that the roads would not only be safe in the midst of the weather but also as time went on.