For Woodsboro Burgess Bill Rittelmeyer, getting an extensive road works project started in 2018 was literally a wash.
The almost weekly heavy rain falling on Frederick County since the summer has delayed plans to repair and seal most of the town’s roads, Rittelmeyer said.
“Every time we’ve had a contractor lined up to come out, it’s rained,” he said. “It’s been like a bad dream. We’ve been trying to get this going for a year now.”
The town of just over 1,200 residents employs a small maintenance staff but has no public works department. It relies on contractors for major road projects.
But all the contractors the town has tried hiring this past year have been set back, sometimes months, because of the rain, Rittelmeyer said. Woodsboro usually piggybacks on bigger Frederick County contracts that bring crews to the town for repairs to county roads. Even those contractors have been unavailable because of the weather.
“A wet spring turned into a wet summer and a wet fall,” Rittelmeyer said.
The repairs Woodsboro’s roads require vary. Some potholes need filling. Some roads are atop aging drain pipes that need replacing. Almost all the roads need to be sealed for protection from moisture.
“I still have some of the side roads that need immediate attention,” Rittelmeyer said. “It’s not something one of our two maintenance workers can go out and just patch with asphalt.”
Woodsboro resident Chelsea Hines said she was unaware of the delayed project. She’s lived on Main Street for about nine years, and doesn’t think the roads are in all that bad of shape.
“There are some torn-up alleyways that keep getting worse,” Hines said. “But it’s a great town. I wouldn’t put it down at all.”
Despite the frustration over the delays, Rittelmeyer said he is optimistic the town can make headway on the road project in a new, and hopefully drier, year.
And they’ve had luck so far. A crew from the Hagerstown-based company D&H Paving were out Wednesday paving Barricks Lane between Main Street and Second.