By Greg Bird
McCreary County Judge Executive Jimmie “Bevo” Greene received a sort of baptism by fire on his first official day in office Monday, as he had to contend with a road slide caused by water undercutting the roadbed.
Heavy rains over the weekend, coupled with a particularly wet December led to the partial road slide on Wolf Creek Road, prompting County officials to shut down the road until emergency repairs could be made.
Road Supervisor Roger Moore stated 110-feet of the road was affected by the slide, as water undercut the road bed- with water even flowing under a culvert, rather than through it as is typical.
According to Kentucky Mesonet data, the region experienced more than one inch of rainfall over Friday and Saturday. December saw nearly eight inches fall as well, leading to saturated ground around the road, and diverting water flows.
McCreary County is eligible to receive emergency funds from the state to make the repair, but some of the cost will still have to come from the county’s own Road Fund.
Most Kentucky counties contribute three percent of their annual road aid funding from the Transportation Cabinet’s Rural and Municipal road aid program to form an emergency fund for road-work.
To be considered for emergency funding the county must submit a form containing pictures and a cost estimate for the repair. If awarded the county would receive 80-percent of the total cost for the repair. Moore said he is in the process of submitting the paperwork and expects to be awarded the funding. He noted the last time McCreary County had to dip in to the emergency fund was in 2004.
Moore said the repairs will take several days, and could be extended depending on the upcoming weather. To fix the damage crews will have to move a utility pole, dig up the affected area, drill in to the hillside adjacent to the road and install steel supports, as well as build a retaining wall to prevent further slippage.
The road will be closed to through traffic until the road can be repaired.