VINTON – After Myron Parizek returned from a long – and long planned – vacation to Greece and Ireland, he found a lot of phone messages complaining about roads.
Parizek, the Benton County Engineer who heads up the secondary roads department, returned to find roads in conditions that have rarely, if ever, been experienced.
Parizek, a Benton County employee for 30 years, said Benton County is 24 miles wide and 30 miles long. It has 1,235 miles of secondary roads. Two hundred and 10 miles are paved, 925 rock and 90 miles of dirt.
“This spring, I think eight or 10 of those 925 miles did not have one frost boil on it,” said Parizek. “Most springs you find a few here and there and you can attack them, but this spring it started at one end of the mile and went to the other.”
When the county improved the roads from dirt to gravel, no ditches existed, according to Parizek. He believes when the ditches were dug, that soil was piled on top of the road surface. This dirt is great for growing crops but not so for building roads.
“It likes to hold moisture, it doesn’t dry out well,”said Parizek.
Parizek said from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2019 was the wettest year in Iowa since statistics were first recorded a hundred years ago.
It was a cold winter and frost was at least four feet deep when it is normally about 22 to 26 inches, according to Parizek.
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