Local News

Some Secondary Roads Still Need Work After Winter Blast

Posted December 28, 2004 4:31 a.m. EST

— Icy road conditions are still a problem in a band stretching from Cumberland, Harnett, Johnston, Edgecombe, Wilson and Nash counties.

Trucks from the state Department of Transportation are a welcomed sight in neighborhoods where people have been frozen in since Saturday night. Stacie Jones is one those still waiting for a clear path.

"It's pretty frustrating because we can see the clear roads," Jones said. "It's just hard to get to the clear roads just because we're on a dead-end road, and nobody really pays much attention to it. We've had a hard time getting out."

Secondary roads had to wait as all available state Department of Transportation crews in Nash County spent the last two days on Interstate 95. The icy highway saw back-ups from Wilson to the Virginia border.

"We had to concentrate on that so much trying to open it back up," said DOT maintenance engineer Terry Ellis. "Between the traffic and the shade on I-95, it's been tough for us to concentrate on other areas."

DOT crews started working late Saturday night. They have been on 12-hour shifts since then. They started plowing, sanding and salting secondary roads late Monday, but Mother Nature has not helped with the thaw.

"You think you've got it clean and then at night, it freezes back over. It's really tough," Ellis said.

Crews planned to hit most secondary roads with at least a sprinkle of salt by Tuesday night. They cleared enough to let Jones get out to the grocery store. The street in front of her house is still frozen solid, but she has seen first hand that DOT crews are plowing her way.

"It makes me feel good to see them out and maybe they'll get back to our little road after they finish the big roads," Jones said.

The winter storm took a toll on Nash County's salt supply. Last week, 1,500 tons of salt was piled in the county. Now, most of it is gone.