Smoother roads on the way with new highway superintendent

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VIGO COUNTY Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Bob James, the newly appointed Vigo County Highway Superintendent, said he has a plan to make smoother county roads a reality.

First on his list will be to tackle potholes.

“The freeze and thaws is what’s hurting us right now. We try to get out there and patch roads that need attention,” he said.

James noted water can be extremely damaging to asphalt, especially during the winter. He said with rain and possibly more snow on the way, these problems need to be addressed now.

“The public needs a smoother road to travel on,” James said.

He said one way to get to smoother roads is by making correct repairs. Not just fixing the apparent issue, James said, but the underlying ones too.

“I’d rather do more asphalt than the chip and seal projects.”

Vigo County Engineer Larry Robbins said he thinks the commissioners made a lot of progress by appointing a supervisor.

“This will be a more technical approach to what roads get paved and what treatments we use,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re out there doing the right treatment for the right road.”

With James’ 29 years of experience, Robbins expects projects to be accomplished more efficiently.

“In the past I think there’s been some issues of a kind of catchall, maybe we crack-sealed a road that shouldn’t have been crack-sealed anymore, maybe we chip-sealed a road that should’ve been resurfaced,” Robbins said.

In addition to overseeing roadway repairs, construction and projects, the superintendent will also help log data into the geographic information system.

Robbins said with the restructuring of the departments, James will help their departments head in a new direction.

“It’s a critical position to be able to manage the highway department and how it functions.”

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