Bad Roads From The Road Worker's Viewpoint - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/11/05 - Nacogdoches

Bad Roads From The Road Worker's Viewpoint

by Donna McCollum

'Bad Roads and Potholes' takes a look at the issue from the road workers perspective. By the nature of their job the road department is the equivalent to a business' complaint department.

For 20 years Linwood Davis has maintained roads for Nacogdoches County. Over the years things have changed about his job. He no longer has to eat the dust. His ride is fully enclosed equipped with a-c and heat. What has never changed about his job is he rarely receives a compliment. Davis said, "Sometimes I do. The majority of the time people come out and complain. I had that happen first thing this morning."

What often happens is every resident suddenly becomes a road engineer. Resident Mary Smith pointed out, "They just don't want to seem to want to pull the ditches and put a crown back on the road so the water can run properly down the ditch instead of down the middle of the road." Davis, ever so patient, abides in order to please the customer. Davis said, "It's a little early to pull ditches, but you always strive to keep the public happy."

Often difficult to do when everyone wants their road fixed first. Nacogdoches County Road Administrator Charles Williams said, "I know people seem to think we never get to them, but we have a routine thing that we do. We work in a circle and that gives everybody the same opportunity to get their road fixed as we come to them."

This year with all the rain residents have heard "It's been too wet" to work even when the sun is shining. But dryness to you and dryness to a road worker are two different things. Just a few inches below dry ground a road blade can hit water. But explaining all that to someone already mad about bad roads and potholes can make anyone lose their cool. Williams admitted, "Well, you know I guess a man's button can be pushed at the time, but you got to be patient with people. It's the taxpayer that we work for."

And sometimes if the road worker aims to please they'll receive a compliment. Smith promises to give Davis a 'thank you'. "I sure will. I'll give him a big thank you because he seems to be doing a pretty good job."

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