Muddy roads slow but don’t stop county

TV Hagenah

For Quay County Road Superintendent Harry Heckendorn has mixed feelings about the four inches of rain that hit Quay County in the past week.

On one hand, he knows how much the parched land of the county needs the moisture that the clouds provided, but on the other hand the rain played havoc with the roads of the area.

“Some were really bad, and some weren’t that bad,” said Heckendorn of Quay County Roads.

The road superintendent said the problems were predictable in that often when it rains people need to get out on the dirt roads of the county.

Sometimes they have to get out and do something, and well, sometimes they just want to get out and check the rain gauge.

He said with the combination of rain, dirt roads and vehicles all coming together, “the result is ruts and some of those ruts are bad,” said Heckendorn.

“But for the most part, the roads held up well,” he said.
Heckendorn said two or three roads did have some major problems. He pointed to Quay Road 62 as one of the worst and F.5 Road and to a lesser extent AG Road.

“We had some people call and tell us it was really bad,” said Heckendorn. “They said it had some real bad spots in it.”

He said it was much the same with F.5.
“It’s not long, but it’s really narrow and that caused some problems, and it got really bad.” he said.

The county road superintendent said it was a bit frustrating because they were able to go out and grade Quay Road 62 and then soon after the rains came again putting it back into the same condition it originally was.

“Quay Road 62 is on the 2005 state project list, so it’s going to get fixed, but with the others we’ll just have to keeping seeing what we can do,” said Heckendorn.

All that being said, the road superintendent this has been a good rain compared to many the county has seen in the past.

“It’s been the best rain. It’s all been soaking into the ground,” said Heckendorn. “It’s been soaking up better than normal.”

Quay County Commissioner Jeffrey Lewalling said one of the things that happens when it rains is that Heckendorn and the commissioners get calls about the roads of the county and the problems that residents face.

“But Harry and his people are doing a good job,” said Lewalling. “They are really working to keep up with it.”
Heckendorn said for the most part, the people of the county have been very good about their roads getting fixed.

“The vast majority have been very patient,” said Heckendorn. “Most people are pretty understanding. But some…well, let’s just say most people are pretty understanding.”

The county superintendent said being in charge of the upkeep of the roads in the county can be a challenging task.
“You’ve got to remember we’ve got enough dirt roads to go from Tucumcari to Chicago; 1,013 miles of dirt roads.”

With all the miles of caretaking he has he said that he’s happy to see the moisture.

“Yep, we’ll take the rain any time and worry about the roads.”