Meridian Star

November 30, 2012

Logging operations damaging roads

By Terri Ferguson Smith / tsmith@themeridianstar.com
Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Logging operations that damage county roads are a point of concern for county officials.

    Wayman Newell, District 2 supervisor, said Thursday that he believes it's time to set some rules to protect county roads from the damage from log trucks.

    In a work session of the Board of Supervisors, Newell referred to a recent letter from Terrell Temple, county engineer, who has been conducting inspections on county roads for the State Aid Maintenance program. In the letter, Temple noted that a number of roads, primarily in the northeast part of the county, have a significant number of base failures.

    Temple's letter states his belief that part of this is due to cut through log traffic. He noticed the problem on the following roads: York, Cuba, Oxford, and Kewanee-Lauderdale.

    "I am not an expert but firmly believe a truck is overloaded when you see logs four or five feet above the top of the truck cab," Temple wrote.

    He recommended that the Board of Supervisors look into ways to address the problem.

    Joe Norwood, president of the Board of Supervisors said he thought the sheriff's department could enforce rules regarding trucks damaging the road, but Newell said he thinks the sheriff's department does not have the authority to do so.

    "Four years ago we had a meeting on the same thing. This room was full of loggers," Newell said. "Nothing came of it."

    Board attorney Rick Barry said he does not believe the county has an ordinance addressing this, but he will look into the matter further.

    "We've looked at this a couple of times," Barry said.

    The Mississippi Department of Transportation monitors and regulates logging traffic and other heavy trucks on state highways, but not on county roads.

    "These are tax dollars that we're talking about. I know that the loggers pay taxes, too. We just need to do what's best," Newell said.