Denton County Targets Road Repairs Near Gas Wells with State Grant

By Brian Scott
|  Friday, Jan 3, 2014  |  Updated 7:53 PM CDT
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Leaders in Denton County say drilling is taking a toll on roads and they're looking to the state to help fix the damage.

Brian Scott, NBC 5 Denton County Reporter

Leaders in Denton County say drilling is taking a toll on roads and they're looking to the state to help fix the damage.

Denton County is taking steps to repair road damage from gas well drilling operations near Krum, and possibly throughout the county.

The commissioner’s court voted unanimously on Friday to create a county energy reinvestment transportation zone (CERTZ). They plan to pursue a state grant designed for repairs to county roads near wells.
 
"We can apply for grants through TxDOT to recoup some funding,” said Commissioner Andy Eads.
 
The grant would provide a little more than $1 million to repair Doyle Road and Indian Trail - which borders county precincts one and four, just northwest of Krum.
 
Neighbors there say both roads, along with many others, have come under heavy use by fracking operations as they move large semis and other equipment through the area.
 
"There's days [sic] where I don't think 5 minutes goes by without a truck going by,” said Patrick Burchett who lives along Doyle Road with his wife Carol.
 
The couple are supporters of the gas wells in the county; calling them an important asset to the local economy. However they say the damage to the county roads needs to be addressed.
 
"Ever since they've been doing the fracking the roads have become really bad,” said Carol.
 
"We realize that this is a big part of the economy out here and we're all for that,” said Patrick, “but we do hope somebody will take responsibility for the roads."
 
Eads said that’s something the county’s been trying to do. He said they’ve had to replace about 11 bridges near fracking operations since he was elected to the court in 2007.
 
"It's been a wonderful economic generator for our local economy but there's also negative impacts," he said.
 
With more than 3,500 gas wells in Denton County a lot of roads are in need of repairs from that heavy truck traffic.
 
Eads said by establishing the CERTZ they can now create a committee of county employees and members of the public to pursue the grant near Krum, and he hopes pursue future grant funds on some of those other roads.
 
"If there's other funds available from TxDOT, absolutely we'll be looking at other roads throughout the county that have been impacted,” he said.
 
Eads stressed the grant will come at no cost to tax payers.

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