County judges request ArDOT install gates to block Elgin roadway during floods

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During Monday night’s Independence County Quorum Court meeting, Independence County Judge Robert Griffin informed JPs that Jackson and Independence Counties have sent letters to the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) requesting it to install gates that would block the entire roadway near Elgin (pictured) that floods during heavy rainfall.

The judge said the state roadway needs a structure that could be used to prevent traffic from trying to pass through during flooding. He noted the recent death of an elderly Jonesboro man who was making a delivery to Independence County when he went around barricades and drowned when his vehicle went off the roadway. (Click here for that story.)

Griffin said tragic events such as that must be prevented. He noted rescue and recovery can also put emergency personnel into dangerous situations.

On another subject, he said the county is starting to advertise for bids to start some road projects. The judge said not much has been accomplished so far this year due to the wet weather the county has experienced. Griffin said a list of bridges has been submitted to ArDOT that the county wants to repair or construct in hopes a federal grant can be received to cover the costs.

Griffin also informed the court that the county may be changing health insurance providers to better serve county employees. He did not name the provider, but said many counties use the company. Griffin said good benefits help to keep good employees around. He said the pay alone is not good enough, noting that most county employees are paid less than what their skills and qualifications warrant.

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