IRONTON, Ohio (WOWK) — Potholes are a driver’s worst nightmare and all too common in Ironton. However, city leaders are looking to address the problem lying beneath the surface.
If you were to drive down South 3rd Street coming from Coal Grove, you’d notice two things: a bumpy ride, and dozens of pot holes. Those pot holes and patches are a result of crews tearing up the road in order to fix water line breaks. While the City of Ironton recently secured more than $600,000 dollars in funding to repair the roads, the issue of the crumbling infrastructure underneath the road remains.
“We have an aging infrastructure,” said Water Plant Superintendent Ryan Watts. “These water mains are approximately 100 years old.”
The grant money secured by the city will pay for new blacktop for the busy stretch of South 3rd Street that leads into town to Lorain Street. It’s roughly a little over 3/4 of a mile. However, Mayor Sam Cramblit says he wants to take care of fixing the water lines underneath the roads before any streets are repaved.
“This is what’s been done in the past. We go and pave that road, right? But we don’t fix what’s underneath it, and so whenever those water lines start breaking, we start digging the road that we just paved,” Cramblit said.
Watts added that it would be like “buying a 100 year old vehicle that has a bad engine and a bad transmission and deciding that you want to put a paint job on it to make it look great. What we want is something that is going to be dependable and reliable, then put the good pavement on it, or the good paint job.”
Now, the mayor is exploring options to pay for the water line replacements without bearing the cost to the tax payers.
“The city, originally, was just going to spend [tax payer money] and fix it,” Cramblit said. “I don’t want to just take [money] right out of our water budget.”
Since this is still fairly a new project, there are no figures yet on how much water line replacements would cost, but city leaders say they know it will cost several thousand dollars.