Stonewall battles road damage with little relief

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Stonewall County Road Superintendent Don Nail was at a loss last week, informing commissioners that although numerous resources have been working on County Road 460, the continued rainfall has slowed progress.

A storm brought around five inches of rain during a single evening late last month, which sent a cascade of water down the ravine to the north, and washed out County Road 460, just inside the Stonewall County line northeast of Rotan. As the water carved its way through the road, it also broke a city water line that ran beneath.

Rotan Public Works Director Rodney Denton said on his way to shut the line off he had to drive through water up to the bowtie on his grill due to the heavy downfall. He said grass and debris collected around his engine, which later caught fire and burned the wiring harness.

He informed the Rotan City Council last week that an insurance claim was filed, and a new wiring harness is been ordered. Denton hopes to have the truck repaired soon as the one he is currently driving has over 267,000 miles.

Denton said although the line continues to break on occasion, the repairs necessary have been minor in nature. Denton was appreciative of the level of cooperation Nail has shown during the past weeks.

Nail said they have been able to make the road passable twice, but heavy rains have continued to destroy any repair work. “There is a tremendous amount of water coming down from up top.”

An adjacent landowner has allowed entry for those needing access to residences, and nail said people can get to those areas but it would be difficult. However, there remains no equipment access, and farmers continue to be cut off from farmland.

Stonewall commissioners met last month and agreed to install a railcar bridge to provide some temporary relief. Officials are anticipating reaching out to the state in the hopes of finding a permanent solution.

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