October 26, 2010 11:43:00 AM
Lowndes County''s state aid roads received the highest praise available during a recent inspection.
County engineer Bob Calvert announced to the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors during its Oct. 15 meeting that state road inspector Jack Jackson referred to Lowndes'' state aid roads as the best in Mississippi.
"He said Lowndes has the best maintenance program in the state," said Calvert.
Calvert rode many of Lowndes'' 130 miles of state aid roads with Jackson, who inspects the 32 counties in the Office of State Aid''s Northern District. Jackson said Lowndes has the best state aid roads in the district, hands down.
District 1 Supervisor and Board President Harry Sanders said the majority of the credit for Jackson''s good impression goes to the county''s road crew and Road Manager Ron Burns. But the board played a role as well.
"Our road department is doing a great job. They take pride in their work and doing 100 percent, rather than half way," said Sanders. "And the county board is to be commended for giving (the road crew) equipment and resources."
Burns says his crew tries to treat all 500 miles of county roads with the same care the state aid roads receive. The state pays for major repairs along its aid roads, but the county is responsible for signage, keeping the grass cut, painting roads and bridges, removing dead trees and debris, filling potholes and spreading gravel along the shoulder for safety.
"We like to do things right and make it look right," said Burns. "Safety is the main thing out on the roads."
The road crew received extra praise from Jackson for its practice of painting bridges with yellow and silver reflective paint to make them more visible at night.
Lowndes County budgeted $5.6 million this year for road, bridge and culvert maintenance.
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