Road crews, local and state, should be applauded

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As with any natural disaster, there are many unsung heroes including those men and women who work behind the scenes to make sure the rest of us are able to go about our business as best as possible.

In the case of Hurricane Florence, there is a special group of dedicated people who have recently made life just a little easier for most drivers.

When the storm ravaged the area, counties all over the area were in a perdicament with washed-out roads, flooded bridges and general chaos when it came to getting from one place to another.

What they did was nothing short of stupendous when you consider there were more than 200 roads closed or damaged throughout the three-county area.

In Sampson County, over 90 roads were closed and, in less than two and a half weeks, only four remain closed. And those four received significant damage.

In Johnston County, all 22 of the roads closed by the storm are now open.

In Harnett County only three roads remain with significant work needed out of the 60 originally closed. After reopening N.C. 27 near Nursery Road after making bridge repairs, the last remaining holdouts are along N.C. 82 where failed drainage pipes are yet to be replaced, on Carson-Gregory Road and on McLeod Road. To add additonal perspective, the roads in Harnett County were among the last to be repaired in NCDOT District 6 or the Fayetteville area.

NCDOT officials also have another lofty task ahead of them, reaching their goal of having all but one of the remaining roads open by Thanksgiving. The lone holdout will likely be a bridge near the Bladen-Sampson County line on U.S. 701 which will have to be redesigned and a replacement constructed.

The efforts were a combined effort in the public-private partnership which has become a trademark for road repairs across the state.

In the Fayetteville district, a combination of 168 employees and 35 contractors were responsible for making the needed repairs.

We as residents of the area have to doff our hats especially for the way traffic was diverted and handled during the time Interstate 95 was flooded out.

While admittedly there were a few times when it seemed like traffic and travel were nothing more than a great hope, the officials who decided to utilize other roads outside the city limits of towns along the interstate should be given a special award. Thanks to them our travels were a lot less frustrating than those undertaken during Hurricane Matthew.

Also to be commended are the local workers of the municipalities in our area. The crews who found the trouble spots inside their pervue and were able to maintain safe roads.

It would be difficult at best to assign a value to the countless hours they all have given toward the ultimate ending, a safe roadway for everyone.

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