As road construction season starts in the state, Brown County still has some battered roads from three straight years of flooding.
The county hired a new highway superintendent this year, Dirk Rogers. With somewhere between 400 and 500 miles of paved roads, there is a lot of work Brown County crews could do in a year.
"We're going to get into a regular maintenance schedule, I hope. We're trying to address in the neighborhood of 75 miles of some type of rehabilitation work," Rogers said.
Rogers says that's his goal for each year. That rehab work could include paving, full-depth reclamation or work to help conserve the roads.
In recent years flooding not only damaged roads but also absorbed funding that could have been used for more regular maintenance.
Rogers served as Brown County Highway Superintendent in the past. He took the position after some flooding years then, too.
"We had some real bad flooding in ‘96-‘97 and I would say by 2006-2007 you were finally kind of getting everything back into a normal cycle again. But some of this stuff after the last few flood events has been almost irreparably damaged," Rogers said.
Rogers says he's eyeing some roads that may be ground to gravel but hasn't made any final decisions. After extensive flood damage, the county has been patching some of its highways with gravel.
"I'm going to try to avoid having to do that and then go back into those areas where it's economically feasible to remove the gravel and replace it with asphalt and some areas we may have to mill up some of those stretches and start over so to speak," Rogers said.
He wouldn't mind more money to take on those tasks, but Rogers says he's hopeful a larger budget due in part to increased license tab fees will help the county gain some ground that flooding swept away. Rogers says he has more than $8 million to work with this year.