The condition of rural roads is a problem across the United State

Rural Road

The Struggle to Mend America’s Rural Roads in the New York Times highlights a problem across the country. The lack of maintenance of roads throughout rural America.

“Our road hasn’t been paved since the ’60s,” said Kellen Nelson, whose family owns Triple Brook Farms on County Road O outside Osseo, Wisconsin. “Patching and seal coating is all they’ve ever done.”

Farmers across the country are experiencing the same issues, eroding shoulders, potholes temporarily fixed with asphalt, and tilted guardrails.

The problem is the equipment used on the roads is getting bigger, better, and more frequent, without any road improvements.

According to Benjamin J. Jordan, the director of the Wisconsin Transportation and Information Center a legally loaded semi-trailer truck can produce 5,000 to 10,000 times the road damage of one car.

In the Wisconsin county of Trempealeau, some 29,000 people are facing roughly $60 million to $80 million worth of road repairs.

The normal life span of an asphalt road is 30 years. The county’s nearly 300 miles of roads are on average 74 years old.

The spring thaw brings more dangers as melting can create soft spots that are easily damaged by vehicles.

There is no quick and easy solution to the issue facing counties across rural America and as the roads continue to deteriorate, the problem will continue to grow.

To read the full story by Patricia Cohen, click here