Many are hoping recent action by the legislature that addressed road construction will help some counties figure out how to fund more road repairs. Rural roads in several counties, particularly in west-central Indiana, still have major issues, especially now when roadbeds are soft and potholes are a big deal.
One reader reports that in Warren County, commissioners have let some roads go from chip and seal back to gravel because they say they don't have money to maintain them. Even so, the gravel roads are sometimes not much better than dirt roads, the farmer notes.
The load limit on one bridge over a major artery is so low that he must drive several miles around to deliver grain to his local elevator. He believes that at least in his county, the situation of the county roads and some state roads are deplorable.
When this old road grader, drawn by horses, was used, roads were gravel. It was back in the days when farmers sometimes used gravel wagons, also horse-drawn, to pull gravel out of their creek beds to help get gravel on their local road.
This particular road grader is still under restoration at Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fair. The Pioneer Village Foundation raises funds and provides money to restore as many antique pieces of machinery as possible. Although this one was in tough shape, Ellsworth Christmas, the former Purdue University Extension agronomist, signed on to be the leader of the project to restore it.
This Adams road grader was originally manufactured by the Adams Family at a factory in Indianapolis. Ironically, the family was originally from Parke County, another county that struggles with maintaining hundreds of miles of county roads on limited funds.
Expect to see antique implements at the state fair in Pioneer Village again this year.