County road patching work to be redone

OKEECHOBEE — There’s good news for Okeechobee County residents who have been complaining about the county’s bumpy roads. At their Dec. 20 meeting, Okeechobee County commissioners discussed road repairs.

There’s bad news for the taxpayers. The county will have to pay for some of the work to be done again.

County Administrator Robbie Chartier explained that repaving work done over the summer was deficient.

She said the repairs to Charles Harvey Highway are probably the most glaring problem.

“The road work on Charles Harvey does need to be redone,” she said.

Mrs. Chartier said the owner of Lynch Paving is taking measurements so when the milling machine comes in, he can give instructions to his crew as to what exactly needs to be done.

“He is moving along to do that, and fix Charles Harvey,” she explained. CivlSurv will conduct the reinspection of the road at no charge to the county.

The county has not yet paid for the repairs to Charles Harvey Highway and the Peavine Trail.

“The work that we have seen done is unacceptable,” said Commissioner Kelly Owens.

“Moving forward, we need to be sure there are some very clear expectations laid out as to what we will or will not accept in the projects moving forward.”

“Resurfacing and patching were the two types of work being done,” said Mrs. Chartier, noting the biggest problems are with the areas that were patched.

“One of the things that concerns me is the expectations of the board and what the contractor and contract says are different,” said John Howle, county engineer.

“You are expecting — from what I am understanding — a smooth ride through there when you are done, and the only way to achieve that is totally milling out all of the existing asphalt and then doing an overlay. That is what the contractor is going to go ahead and do on Charles Harvey, but that is not what he was told. He was told to mill out the butt joints and go ahead and do an overlay.”

“Who told him to do that?” asked Commissioner Hazellief.

“Pete (DePasquale) and I met with him,” said Mr. Howle. “That is what was done in the past.”

Commissioner Hazellief said he addressed this issue when he first took office, and it was his understanding the procedure had changed.

“If you and Pete told him to do it that way, that changes everything,” he said.

“Why would you tell him to make a hump? You’ve been in this business longer than I have,” the commissioner continued. “If you do that, you have a hump and then the other side you go down. Evil Knievel could have a jump there.”

“Personally, I would never have thought that we would have made six speed bumps on both sides of Charles Harvey Highway,” said Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs said. He asked for a timeline to have the roads fixed.

“I want it listed and when we are going to get them fixed; then we will figure out who is going to pay for what,” he said. “We’ve got to figure out what we are going to do in the future to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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