TORRINGTON – A post on local Facebook market pages has spurred a call to action, and a sizable group of citizens has formed with the apparent intent to address the Goshen County Commission about the state of the county’s roads in the wake of late winter storms and an unusually wet spring.
Brandon York posted a call to action on the Goshen County Classifieds and Torrington Area Classifieds pages. The post informs citizens that the GCC will be meeting June 4 at 9 a.m. The commission meets in its chambers at the Goshen County Courthouse.
“We need folks to come discuss problem roads,” the post reads. “Come share their stories and show their pictures.”
The posts have garnered a wealth of attention since they were posted on May 28. As of this writing, both posts have been commented on over 50 times. The original post on Goshen County Classifieds has been shared nearly 50 times. Several residents posted pictures and videos of their struggles on the roads, as well.
In the comment sections, many county residents voiced their frustration with the roads and the Goshen County Road and Bridge Department, which is tasked with maintaining the roads.
“They need operators that actually know how to cut and maintain a road, that alone would help cut costs so much,” Heather Olson wrote. “The huge pile of road base they had made will be a huge waste of money if they continue to push everything from the road into the ditch.”
Another resident, Seth Marsh, wrote that he had to pick up his child when a school bus became stranded on a muddy road.
“I had to pick my child up from where the bus got stuck sideways in the road,” he wrote. “I was waiting for half an hour only to find out the bus was stuck. Almost got my four-wheel-drive vehicle stuck just getting to the bus. A couple weeks before that the road grader operator started to grade the road, and then must have figured out he/she had no idea what they were doing because they left a pile in the middle of the road (about a half mile long) for over a week. If I’m not working you can bet on me being there. I’ve lived in Goshen County for over 12 years and I’ve just about had it with poor excuses for operators and even worse management.”
Goshen County Commission Chairman Wally Wolski said the commission is aware that the group of citizens will be attending the meeting, and that everyone is always welcome to come and discuss issues with the GCC.
“Everybody is entitled to come,” Wolski said. “Our commission meetings are open to the public, and we want to give everybody the courtesy of having the floor and sharing their thoughts. That’s all part of the process.”
In an interview with Telegram last week, road and bridge superintendent Jerry Hort said his staff has been mostly sidelined because working on soft, muddy roads will do more harm than good.
“It’s in the whole county,” Hort, who is charged with fixing the roads, said. “I’ve been all over the county, so I know what it looks like. Every road is torn up, even the gravel roads. There probably won’t be any gravel left.
“You can’t do anything. The roads are total mud.”
One the weather clears up and the roads dry, Hort said he and his crew will be doing their best to repair as much as they can – but it will be slow going.
“It’ll be slower because you have too many ruts,” Hort said. “Your machine will be going in and out of ruts, so you’ll have to slow down. It’s going to be a slow process. It is all over the county. It isn’t just one area, it is pretty much all over.
“We will start wherever that machines are, and we’ll start working. That is what we do. We’ll have all seven machines that the county has running. That’s all we can do because that’s all we have.”