Smith County has made some headway to improving its roads and bridges, according to County Engineer Bill Bala. Bala went before Smith County commissioners for a presentation on the state of the Road and Brige Department.
Bala told commissioners the number of county roads in bad or poor condition has dropped from 71% to 67% since the beginning of last year. Bala says the department has about 700 miles of roads to fix, a project that's expected to take six years to complete. For that, he says a bigger staff will be needed. "We need more people so that we can commit full-time road crews and then still maintain drainage and bridge, and mowing and other things we do," he said.
Bala says, if he gets the help, he hopes the department will do 108 miles of road reconstruction next year and 125 miles thereafter.