Road builders say a road is only as good as the dirt under it. Pretty much explains why Melrose South residents won't receive asphalt roads, but will end up with iron ore gravel roads.
"If you don't get the drainage fixed the one layer of seal coat won't stay very long anyway," Elton Milstead, county commissioner for precinct 4, explained in court. "So that's why we chose to go that route."
The Nacogdoches County Commissioners court granted the change order Tuesday morning, about 2 months after finalizing the grant.
Linda Beaumont has lived in Melrose South for 27 years.
"If they put that real good gravel on it that will be fine," said Beaumont when asked if gravel is suitable to her. "It beats the way it is right now because it tears up your car and everything else."
An asphalt road would have also required residents to pay for their own culvert. That's not necessary with gravel.
"People here are on a fixed income and they just don't have the money to put out for culverts," shared Beaumont.
A couple of years ago, some residents managed to shell out the cash for culverts during a failed attempt by homeowners to repair the subdivision roads. Even when Melrose South residents tried to take care of the road problems themselves, cost got in the way. Now, they don't even have to buy the culverts.
The $267,000 Community Development Block Grant will pay for the total project. New culverts are now being installed. A slip up on size was caught just in time.
"The project engineer called for 12 inch culverts and our standards say we have to have 15 inch culverts. He caught it and we got that change order done," said Milstead.
It's important to meet the specs. Eventually the improved passages will be accepted as county roads. The last thing Melrose South residents want are more delays.