October 6, 2013

Letter: ounty worked hard to reopen road

— In regard to the Lower Kings Bridge Road closure, I first want to recognize our commissioner, Harold Brooker, who was very helpful when we had a small disaster when our culvert got washed out two months ago. It was wide and deep, and the old metal pipe was not adequate to handle the flash flood.

So the commissioner agreed to put in a temporary bridge. However, to our surprise, an old concrete bridge was still in place, so when the pipe came out the old concrete walls fell, which made it difficult to install the portable bridge. The road had to be closed until plan two came in force — the installation of a big concrete culvert that had to be special ordered.

People on the upper side of Boyles Mill Road/River Road all use this route to Dalton, Eton and Chatsworth on Highway 2, Highway 225 and Highway 411. Our church, Grace Baptist, which is one mile above the washed out culvert, was having its vacation Bible school the next week, so everybody in the county was trying to help matters.

The sign crew arrived first (Philip White, Mike Parrish, Richard Roberts) and did a fine job. Then Dewayne Hunt, public works director, went to work and ordered 12 tiles, 72 inches in diameter and weighing more than 17,000 pounds. Then Jacob Hasty, Chris “Hoggy” Bryant, Steve “Dirty” McCurdy, Jimmy Moore and Roger Lackey came into the picture. They were the equipment operators and the grade supervisor.

Then the rain came again. It rained every day, and twice a lot of days. So these men worked like dogs, digging and prying. A lot of people do not understand the hard labor that goes into a project like this. I personally appreciate them for their professionalism and concern.

Next came the setting of the massive tile with Bill Holden, crane operator, using a shoot boom trying to set these big tiles. The headwall and concrete men then went to work — Opie Patterson, Robert Stevenson and Sean Rubert — working to create the concrete to bond to the headwall.

That is one dangerous swamp these old boys had to deal with, so everyone should consider the workplace before you make any quick decisions about our workers who keep all our precious facilities operating so well.

Our road is paved and looking good!

Claude Byers