Slipping, sliding away no longer

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

General Manager

What some Henry County magistrates feared could be a disaster in the making has been repaired, and residents traveling Union Church Road can breathe a little easier.

During its April meeting, members of the Henry County Fiscal Court felt it imperative that something be done about the slipping roadway.

According to Henry County Judge-Executive John Logan Brent, the road began sliding several years ago. Though the road was repaired at that time, the road began sliding again earlier this year.

What the county found was what Brent described as a shelf of top soil under the roadway.

“When you’re building a road, you want to be on either rock or clay dirt,” he said. The top soil under the road surface was shifting, and 500 feet of the roadway fell “about two feet.”

The road has since been repaired, and last week, the county learned it was the recipient of $44,000 in emergency road aid.

Magistrate Jerry Beasley, who serves the district the road is in, said he was satisfied with the work done to the road.

“It will be a whole lot safer for the school buses,” he said. “That section of road will be a little bit wider, so it’s a passable section there.”

Though the rural road may not be particularly well traveled — Brent said that perhaps less than 100 vehicles travel the road each day — but it is on a school bus route. And that alone had Brent and the magistrates particularly concerned.

In a press release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Transportation Secretary Joe Prather said repairs on secondary roads can be as important as repairs to primary routes.

“It is important that we help cities and counties fund emergency repairs to local roadways, because those routes are vital links in the state’s transportation network,” Prather said.

Brent said the county was able to complete the repair work under budget. Even once paving is complete, he said, the county may be sending left over funds back to Frankfort.

During one fiscal court meeting, Campbellsburg area Magistrate David Brown said his fear would be the nightmare situation of a school bus sliding off the road.

Brent said credit for repair of the road goes to the fiscal court.

“I will compliment my court, I think that just about everybody on the road committee had a conversation with somebody in Frankfort, it was real team effort,” he said. “It wasn’t just this is my district, this is my problem. It was approached at the county level. I want to compliment them for their team work.”

Beasley said he certainly was happy the county was able to receive emergency road funding for the repairs.

“That tickled me,” he said. “I was willing to give up everything else. I don’t believe in black topping another road, when there’s another one falling off. I want to (fix) it up, make it safe, before I go on.”

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