County secures grant to fight road erosion

Friday, February 8, 2008
An engineer examines a road threatened by a creek in Watson Hollow.

Marshall County has been awarded another federal grant to prevent stormwater erosion of rural roads, according to federal and county officials speaking this week at County Roads Superintendent Jerry Williams' office.

The program here, estimated to cost $591,800, is to improve 41 sites. Most are where a roadbed is threatened by a meandering stream or by recurring flooding. Those places are to be covered with a geo-fabric that allows water through, but holds soil in place, Williams explained.

Crushed stone and rip-rap rock are to be placed over the black geo-fabric that resists erosion, thereby protecting a roadbed, according to John Smiley, supervisor of contractors for the County Highway Department overseeing construction in new subdivisions.

Said Williams, "We use pillars, too," referring to preformed blocks that can be placed together almost like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. "They weigh about a ton, each."

Smiley estimated that an inch of rain, with all that water flowing away instead of being absorbed, can total 40,000 gallons of water with the potential to undermine roads.

See Friday's Tribune for the complete story.