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Web site established to report road problems

February 21, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County officials want you to lead them to the potholes.

Residents who know of torn-up streets or other road hazards in the county now may pass that information along to the county by logging on to the Internet and sending a message.

County Administrator Rodney Shoop said the submissions will be monitored by the Highways Department on a daily basis and put into a database.

By doing so, the county will know exactly where to look for the problem roads, County Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell said.

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Shoop said the county wanted to "make it as easy as possible to the citizens to get the information to us, so we can get the roads repaired."

At the county's Web site, www.washco-md.net, residents will find a link that states "Report a Pothole or other Roadway Problem."

After clicking on the link, a form will pop up and residents may report potholes, missing or damaged road signs, traffic signals that aren't working, clogged culverts, trees or limbs in the roadway and other road hazards, according to a written statement.

They'll be asked to give the location of the problem - including the road name, nearest house number and nearest intersection - and check off a box that states the type of hazard.

While the county may not get to the potholes or other road problems immediately, road crews will have the information on hand to make the necessary repairs, Shoop said.

"It's not something that happens the day the people report the potholes," he said. "It takes time."

Shoop said developing a Web site on which residents can interact with county officials and find helpful information has been a county goal.

"We're hoping to offer this to the citizens of Washington County as another service," Shoop said.

Commissioner John C. Munson said he thinks the Web link will make tracking potholes and other road problems more efficient, if residents use it.

"I don't think a whole lot of people will use it," Munson said. "I think they're going to pick up the telephone and call."

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