Road woes in San Augustine Co. continue, but repairs increase - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Road woes in San Augustine Co. continue, but repairs increase

Road repairs and culvert replacements are costly, but necessary due to the spring's flash flood damage. Road repairs and culvert replacements are costly, but necessary due to the spring's flash flood damage.
Commissioner's Court is keeping its eye on their precinct budgets for road repairs. Commissioner's Court is keeping its eye on their precinct budgets for road repairs.
Steptoe Welding is helping install a steel former rail car as a culvert on Country Road 344. Steptoe Welding is helping install a steel former rail car as a culvert on Country Road 344.
SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

With Precinct 3 Commissioner Joey Holloway and welding contractor Blake Steptoe on the blow torch, a week-long road repair on County Road 344 is in full-throttle.

"Here I had my last wooden culvert in Precinct 3. We took it out yesterday," Commissioner Joey Holloway explained before jumping back behind the controls of an earth mover. It was being used to compact loads of dirt donated by a resident to help cut costs with the bridge replacement project.  

Holloway, along with contractor Blake Steptoe of Steptoe Welding, as well as Cory Poindexter and Derek Burns, demolished the wood culvert Monday while navigating in up to 2 feet of mud. A crew then put into place a durable replacement, a ½” thick steel culvert made from a former rail car. It should be able withstand future flash flooding, much like those experienced in San Augustine County in April and May.

"We're trying to get caught up from all the recent floods.  The roads are looking better, but we still have a long way to go,” said Commissioner Holloway.

The $14,000 project is being paid for through a grant from Texas Department of Transportation through the County Transportation Infrastructure Fund Grant Program.

San Augustine County Judge Samye Johnson updated the court on the federal and state disaster relief applications they have submitted.

"Our state award for $350,000 from the state of Texas for all these roads we've been having work on," said Judge Johnson.

Precinct 4 Commissioner David McEachern said residents have been an asset to commissioners in finding roads with issues.

"That's a big help for us, because it takes me two days to drive all of my roads," McEachern said.

Commissioner Stanley Jackson, Precinct 1, said the cleanup process had made it difficult to even get to the road repairs that were needed.

"The ditches and stuff and all the silt and stuff out of them, and the trees and stuff that has washed in the bridges, get all those cleaned out,” said Jackson.

But projects are getting done and the roads are getting better for drivers, especially in Commissioner Mel Wilson’s Precinct 2.

Wilson added, “We're just about to get Precinct 2 looking how I like it to look."

The county has spent more than $400,000 and counting on getting the roads ready.

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