Tentative road plan presented to supervisors

Published 7:47 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023


Panola County Road Manager Bruce Cook gave the Board of Supervisors a tentative plan for road improvements in the county this week, but stressed that plans could be changed by weather or other circumstances.

“This is just my preliminary objectives for the county roads and this can be tweaked at any time when we see that changes need to be made,” Cook told supervisors before going over his list. 

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The Road Department repaired or repaved about nine miles of roads in each of the county’s five districts last year and Cook said with new equipment and additional operator training the total number of miles may be increased this year.

Cook prefaced the discussion of road maintenance by telling supervisors he believes the county should be working toward the goal of paving more rural roads using the chip seal process rather than sending road graders to repair ditches when drainage becomes a problem.

“Right now we are driving ten miles to grade one mile of bad gravel road sometimes,” Cook said. “We need to slowly whittle these gravel roads down. Even though you don’t have a lot of people living on them, they are harder to keep up.”

Cook said once a road has its ditches cleaned and cut to maximize drainage and overhanging limbs are cut away, the maintenance of a chip sealed road compared to gravel is minimal.

Telling supervisors that the list he prepared could be rearranged to their liking, the road manager made the following suggestions for the five districts:

District 1: Finish the western end of Tate-Panola Rd. beginning Feb. 1 with the goal of beginning the chip sealing process when spring temperatures arrive. Also on the list for the district is paving one miles of East Compress Rd., three miles of Old Panola Rd. (from the county line to Hwy. 310), Tom Floyd Rd. (4.6 miles), and a half mile of Emery Church Rd.

District 2: The northern two miles of Sanders Rd., Pea Farm Rd. (2.33 miles), Farmer Rd. (1.15 miles), Will Stewart Rd., and Davis Chapel Rd. (3.57 miles) from Hwy. 51 to the McIvor Shooting Facility.

Macedonia Rd. will also see repairs this year under the existing State Aid project that has been underway for more than a year in that area.

District 3: Grant Rd. (2.88 miles), Tocowa Rd. from the Baptist Church to Figg Rd., Randolph Rd. (1 mile), Walls Rd. (.8 miles), Tin Side Rd. from Grant Rd. to Dummy Line Rd., and Green Rd. off of Hentz Rd.

District 4: Plum Point Rd. (2.55 miles), Hubbard Creek Rd. (.92 miles), Hubbard Rd. (4.22 miles), and Bell Rd. (3.7 miles).

District 5: River Rd. (3.6 miles), Old Panola Rd. (2.5 miles), and Viney Creek (3.1 miles).

Cook said supervisors can review his suggestions and make recommendations before next month’s meeting when the road plan can be finalized for the year.

“We can change what we need to when we get started and see what weather and other circumstances come up, but this gives us a starting point,” he said.