Eddie Schmidt isn’t happy with the deteriorating asphalt road that runs past his home. Lane-wide craters are patched with gravel.
“It’s really bad,” Schmidt said. “It’s about half gravel now.”
The condition of 330th Rd. between K-15 and the McPherson County line in the northwest part of the county has deteriorated much since 2007 when it was last paved with a 2-inch overlay.
The two inches of pavement on the road is “not nearly enough,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt and his wife, Anita Schmidt, have lived on Roxbury Rd. since 2007, but had been driving the road since they bought their retirement house there in 2002.
“Right after they paved it, it was a nice fine road,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said he usually sees 10 to 20 cars pass by during his 45-minute morning walk.
“It carries a lot of traffic,” Schmidt said. “This is the only paved road in the northwest corner.”
There is traffic to Morningstar church, a school bus route, and businesses in Durham, including an implement dealer and a restaurant.
County commissioners at Monday’s meeting said the deterioration of the road is caused by water seeping into the roadbed, but Schmidt doesn’t agree. There might be places with seepage, he said, but the larger problem is how long the county waited to pave the road after the roadbed was built.
“The bed had already begun to get bad before they put on the hard surface,” Schmidt said. “That bed was ready to go for several years before they hard-surfaced it.”
Schmidt said 330th Rd. got six inches of pavement from Highway 15 east to Tampa, but only 2 inches west to the McPherson County line.
“This is the only real blacktop we’ve got in this whole section,” Schmidt said. “From this corner it’s our way of getting somewhere on a decent road. We need some kind of blacktop. This is our connection to the rest of the world.”
Commissioner Dan Holub said he drives Roxbury Rd. once or twice per week to visit his wife’s family in Lindsborg.
The reason 330th Rd. east of K-15 to Tampa got more asphalt is that state engineers would not settle for less than 6 inches, Holub said.
The county could not afford to put 6 inches on the rest of it.
“We could have done 12 miles of 2 inches, and we spent it all on the six inches,” Holub said.
Holub said most westbound traffic on the road turns onto K-15 instead of continuing west on Roxbury Rd.
“We knew we had problems with that road,” Holub said. “We knew we had to do something. We waited two or three years and watched it. Then we put on two inches of asphalt. It held good for a while. Then the concrete started breaking up.”
That breaking up began in 2014, Holub said.
Holub said he’s not in support of replacing the road.
“Until we come up with some solution so we have a possibility of success, I’m not willing to do it,” Holub said. “The only way to fix it right is to start over on the base, lay it again, go deeper than we did before, put the big rock down, and pack it down. That would be a considerable amount of money. If we had unlimited money, everything is fixable.”