A Santa Fe man is growing frustrated at the lack of progress on his now unpaved street almost five months after Galveston County crews began work on it by tearing up the pavement.
“More potholes have grown in the road,” Dennis Noah, of Santa Fe, said. “There are patches of piling asphalt. They started in August and this has just gone on and on and on.”
Noah said the work on Avenue V isn’t being done in a timely fashion, but officials insist that the county’s repaving schedule sometimes takes months to complete.
“There’s just one road construction and paving crew and it rotates around the county annually,” said Lee Crowder, Galveston County’s director of road and bridge.
Galveston County’s road crews are responsible for about 330 miles of road and officials budget about $1.8 million each year to repave between 15 miles to 20 miles, Crowder said.
There are about 16 members of the crews, Crowder said.
Crews work in stages, pulling up the existing pavement and putting down a seal coat during the first stage and later returning and repaving the street, Crowder said.
Between the two stages, workers move through the county working on the rest of the year’s schedule, Crowder said.
It might typically take three months between workers removing pavement and putting down a seal coat to when they return and pave back over the road, Crowder said.
Hurricane Harvey further slowed crews’ progress, leading to the unusually long wait time, Crowder said.
Harvey in late August caused massive flooding throughout the county and resulted in crews stopping work for about a month, Crowder said.
Noah, however, wasn’t convinced.
“It’s been over a half a year,” Noah said. “This started way before the hurricane. You can’t tell me they are doing things efficiently or productively. It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of paychecks, but no real work. We aren’t getting anything accomplished for our dollars.”
Driving down the street has become dangerous because of flying debris and growing ditches and potholes, Noah said.
“There’s something wrong with the street department in our county,” Noah said.
Noah’s street has a seal coat on it and is safe for travel until work crews can finish repaving it in the early spring, Crowder said.
“It has some loose gravel on it, but that’s part of the seal coat,” Crowder said. “It’s a low-volume, rural road. It’s not a city street.”