Increased population impacts many facets of life in an area, but it could be argued that one of the biggest impacts in Wise County is to roads.
Precinct 2 County Commissioner Kevin Burns said he looks at growth trends and changes road work priorities based on those trends.
“We redo that almost every morning,” he said, “especially this time of year when we’re deciding what roads to seal coat. You decide according to traffic and population on the road. Sometimes there may not be a lot of residents on the road, but the traffic is horrendous.”
He tries to focus on the high-traffic areas in each community and the roads that go between communities. Much of the damage to roads is done by industrial traffic, he said.
His main priorities are to keep roads safe and dust-free.
He also added that sometimes people who move here from an urban area have different expectations about road conditions.
“A lot more people are accustomed to better service than we can afford to offer,” he said. “I get a lot of calls about it. A lot of people want to know when the street lights and hydrants will be here.
“But they’re coming from places with an enormous tax base.”
Precinct 2 encompasses the northwestern portion of Wise County and covers the cities and communities of Alvord, Chico, Crafton, Lake Bridgeport and parts of Bridgeport and Decatur.