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Lab results indicate ash roads safe
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SPRINGFIELD -- On Jan. 3, a wintry storm swept through the area, leaving dozens of ash roads in Effingham County nearly destroyed.

The Effingham County Board of Commissioners established a way to make temporary repairs with sand and immediately started trying to find a long-term solution.

Concerns were raised about the safety of the ash roads and their effectiveness.

In an abundance of caution, a contamination analyses was ordered to answer many of these concerns.

Whitaker Laboratories, an independent, nationally certified testing lab, was hired to conduct these tests.

The county had 16 separate roadways tested and a total of 20 samples collected. All results were within the allowable limits of the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards.

Moving forward, just over one month later, the county has approved $1.42 million for road repairs. It has hired dedicated staff to the reparis and equipment has already been purchased.

The training for these employees will begin next week and actual repairswill start Feb. 19.

The entire repair process is expected to be complete by early 2019.

A list of the first roads to be repaired is available and will be updated as repairs progress. The initial list should take two months to complete and includes 16 roads.