83.3 F
Thursday, March 23, 2023

Belleview resident shares thoughts on repaving U.S. Highway 441

In response to a recent letter from a Belleview resident that discussed road construction on U.S. Highway 441, another resident from Belleview wrote in to voice his thoughts on the topic.

“It is cheaper and faster to repave a road before it starts to crumble and develop potholes. Highway 441 is the main route for traffic in this part of Marion County. Can you imagine trying to evacuate the area during a hurricane on a road where everyone has to dodge potholes? Asphalt wears down, and heavy vehicles make it wear faster. If it gets too thin, it also damages the roadbed. When that happens, just repaving does little good.

I lived on a highway that went to a steel mill for years. It had a whole group of large dump trucks loaded down with limestone that passed every six hours. The weight would destroy new pavement in under a year because the roadbed was worn out. They tested the highly touted method of using a heavy mesh between the old asphalt and the new asphalt,  which was done to extend the life of a repaved road. It didn’t.

That highway started as a dirt road in the early 1800s, and it was never intended to carry so much traffic. When that steel mill was built in the early 1960s, it was too late to start over because there was no other route for that constant stream of heavy trucks. You would have to tear down a lot of older homes on the route and businesses would lose their parking, at the very least.

The time required to add more lanes on U.S. Highway 441 would cause many business in the Belleview area to fail because their customers wouldn’t be able to get to them for an extended period of time.

And as far as bad drivers go, there are too many people on the roads who couldn’t care less if they cause an accident or deaths as long as they aren’t inconvenienced.”

Michael Terrell
Belleview resident