Road concerns ongoing, officials say progress being madeBy Emily Etheredge Published 4:58pm Thursday, February 28, 2013
Work in progress
Wearren told The Clanton Advertiser on Wednesday that even with a budget that continues to decrease, projects on roads throughout the county are still being accomplished.
With more than 395 dirt roads throughout the county, Wearren often spends time applying for projects to pave or repave roads that can often fall under state funding including the ATRIP and RAMP programs.
Wearren has lived in the county for more than 32 years and previously worked for Alabama Power, a Pelham engineering company where he did design work, a consultant for ALDOT, Corridor X and on various projects in Prattville after being hired full-time by ALDOT.
In October 2007, Wearren was hired by Chilton County as the county engineer and hopes to continue working to improve the road conditions for the area he calls home.
“Part of the reason this job appealed to me was because I could have the opportunity to positively make a difference in the community where I grew up,” Wearren said. “I want to help make this county the best it can be.”
According to statistics compiled by Caton, there have been nine county engineers since 1995.
Although Wearren said the job is rewarding, there are many difficulties with hearing concerns about roads and bridges throughout the county on a regular basis.
Wearren often compiles a list of reports to give to the seven commissioners who often field calls from concerned citizens who worry about the condition of roads and bridges throughout the county.
“People are passionate about the roads and bridges in this county,” Wearren said. “A lot of times they are simply passionate about the particular road or bridge they live near and we try to listen to all of the concerns.”
One difficulty that often poses problems within the road department is working with changing weather on a daily basis.
Wearren said weather is often a determining factor for how long a project will take to be accomplished.
“In the winter you have rain on a lot of dirt roads creating mud,” Wearren said. “You can have a few sunny days after the rain but if the ground is still wet we can’t work.” “A lot of roads rely on weather and we have to often work with what we have.”
Although many projects are on the horizon and roads and bridges will be improved in 2013, road issues will always cause concern throughout the county.
“One thing I have learned is you have to take a little bit and spread it over an entire county,” Wearren said. “Sometimes when that happens it makes it seem like we aren’t fixing anything but we are. It just takes time.”