County Commissioner, Pct. 4 Update | June 7-11, 2021

ROAD & BRIDGE

Some of the work done by Frio County Road & Bridge in Precinct 4 for the week ending Friday June 11th:

Hauled millings to CR3715 (Schorp) and from various TxDOT stockpiles/Vulcan Materials to county yards in preparation for continuing patching/grading
Patched CR4670 (Hugo), CR4614 (Klopek), CR4675 (Good)
Graded CR4670 (Hugo), CR4538 (Old Divot Hwy), CR4629 (Herwig), CR3871 (Hindes), CR4757 (Leona River)
Shredding  CR4670 (Hugo)
Septic Inspections
Vector Control/Mosquito Spraying

Last week, I met with Zavala Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Cruz. We share Leona River Road, and talked about ways we can work together to maintain the road for our constituents.

Zavala County, Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Cruz at Leona River Road.


Millings in position:

Schorp Road


Grading:



Road and Bridge sprayed for mosquitos on county roads close to Dilley, including Hilltop and other areas:



Good Road near Hugo was prone to flooding, leading to damage. Material was added to the low point:




Removing excess dirt, silt, and growth from the edges of the road after the rains to maintain the edge-to-edge clearance:



Patching:

Sweeping excess dirt and debris in preparation for patching
Good Road
Klopek Road

written by Jose Asuncion, County Commissioner, Pct. 4
photos by Jose Asuncion, Anthony Gonzales, and Joe Louis Hernandez Jr.

County Commissioner, Pct. 4 Update | May 24 – June 5, 2021

ROAD & BRIDGE

Heavy rains returned for several days over the past few weeks, affecting roads all over Frio County. Some of the work done by Frio County Road & Bridge in Precinct 4 for the two week period ending Friday June 4th:

Hauled millings to CR3715 (Schorp), CR4885 (Hurt), CR4757 (Leona River) CR4670 (Hugo)
Patched CR4670 (Hugo)
Graded CR4715 (Pacho Garcia), CR4701 (Ayala), CR 4714 (Orndoff), CR4670 (Hugo), CR3715 (Schorp), CR4815 (Moffet)
Brush Cutting CR3843 (Burns), CR4450 (Guajardo),
Septic Inspections
Tree and Branch Pick up

Trees that initially survived but were weakened by the storms are still making their way into county roads….
Patching on Hugo Rd, Thursday June 3rd
Temporary patches were applied to Hugo Rd until a more permanent solution can be determined for areas consistently affected by drainage issues…

FRIO COUNTY EVENTS COMMITTEE INAUGURAL AUTO SHOW

In a future post, I’ll talk more about the magnificent work done by the new Frio County Events Committee for employees and for the community. In the meantime, I’ll just say that I’m proud to be part of the team.

On Saturday, June 5th, the Frio County Events Committee organized and hosted an Auto Show, attended by 40 vehicles, with vendors, food, and music…

UPCOMING EVENTS IN FRIO COUNTY

written by Jose Asuncion, County Commissioner, Pct. 4

Frio Road & Bridge | Precinct 4 Update | June 1, 2021

THE PEOPLE HAVE TO KNOW
I asked Commissioner Joe Vela, Pct. 1, how residents liked his weekly newspaper column. Personally, I thought it was a good idea, and had been thinking about borrowing his concept.

“The people have to know,” he told me.

HOW ROAD & BRIDGE FUNCTIONS
After Commissioner Vela’s May 27th column, I asked him if I could post a follow up. Instead of simply highlighting county road problems, I thought it was necessary to communicate how Road & Bridge plans to address them.

Commissioner Joe Vela’s May 27th Column

In addition to Commissioners Court meetings, we hold workshops– marathon meetings to discuss specific topics. So far this year, we’ve held two on the topic of Road & Bridge. The last Road & Bridge workshop was on May 20th, and we specifically addressed Goldfinch Road. Goldfinch Road is scheduled for a road rehabilitation project in the new fiscal year (October 2021-September 2022), unless Commissioners rearrange priorities based on unexpected damage elsewhere, or a significant drop in property tax revenue that forces project cuts.

If you’re curious to see how Road & Bridge dialogues with Commissioners Court, you can watch our 3-hour May 20th workshop here.

THE STORM SLOWED DOWN REGULAR MAINTENANCE
On a regular schedule, road maintenance is a full-time effort. But an unusual number of extreme storms this year has set back the maintenance program. Winter storm Uri’s freeze and thaw required an unscheduled response from Road & Bridge crews, compounded by heavy rains. May’s wake low wind storm pummeled trees into the roads, and clogged drainage systems across the county, using up Road & Bridge staff and equipment.

San Miguel Creek after the wake low storm.
Cleaning up San Miguel Creek.

Once the trees were cleared and the drainage systems cleaned of major obstructions county-wide, Road & Bridge moved on to road patching. Depending on when you read this, Road & Bridge already patched or will patch storm damage in all precincts, including the aforementioned Goldfinch Road.

A CHANGE IN THE PATCHING PROCESS
Last year, Ancelmo “Chemo” Ornelas was promoted to Road & Bridge Supervisor. He knew the county’s long-time process for patching potholes wasn’t working.

“Just putting coal mix in the hole is not working, and hasn’t been for years,” he said. He remembered some lessons from the county engineer that had worked for Frio years ago- lessons that were promptly abandoned upon that same engineer’s firing. Under the direction of the current County Engineer Roxana Garcia, who started at the end of July 2019, Chemo works on re-training the crew on patching.

First, the hole is cleaned, a new step in the process. Then, the hole and fill material is treated with a tack emulsion- a sticky substance to hold the material together, in place, in the hole.

“It’s like a Rice Krispy Treat” County Engineer Roxana Garcia explained in layman’s terms. The added emulsion keeps water from penetrating the hole and displacing the fill material, she said, which is why Road & Bridge patches had been less than effective for so long.

Eventually, Chemo is going to add “squaring” the holes as part of the process, but can’t spare the added time right now due to overwhelming demand from the storms.

PRECINCT 4 | HURT ROAD
Hurt Road was not on Frio County’s project list for this fiscal year. But regular maintenance failed to stave off damage to the road. And then an unexpected increase in traffic due to an oil pad site installation caused the holes in the road to become a serious danger. Last month, Road & Bridge started a rehabilitation on Hurt Road.

Today, the Hurt Road project is about three-quarters complete. It’s another place where County Engineer Roxana Garcia and Road & Bridge Supervisor Acelmo “Chemo” Ornelas have made improvements to road work methods.

Hurt Road prepped for rehabilitation
Hurt Road in progress
Completed portion of Hurt Road

Previously, Road & Bridge used soft rock on road rehabilitation jobs. Soft rock, according to County Engineer Roxana Garcia, will either powder when graded or break into sharp flints that damage tires.

This time around Road & Bridge Supervisor Ancelmo “Chemo” Ornelas used millings donated* by TxDOT rather than soft rock, and the difference is immediately apparent. The plan is to build roads that last longer, “paving” the way for a more effective maintenance schedule…

written by Jose Asuncion, County Commissioner, Pct. 4

*”Donated” doesn’t mean “free.” Donated material has to be hauled from location, which can be as far as San Antonio, and then stored. We opted to use Road & Bridge crews over hauling contractors. But even that has a cost- labor hours, equipment hours, and fuel. The hauling has taken months, but the payoff of higher quality materials has been evident.