MOUNT GILEAD — Morrow County Engineer Bart Dennison is hoping that 2020 can still be a good year for catching up on road work that is long overdue.

However, there is revenue loss from gasoline tax dollars since people are driving less and also loss of motor vehicle license fees during the coronavirus stay-at-home order.

Those losses caused Dennison to recalculate his plans for the roads this summer. He is glad there is revenue from the 2-mill levy for roads, which is being figured into to budget for much of the road work.

Dennison predicts that road work can start by the beginning of May since the county commissioners approved contract bids April 15. Weather has also been a factor, since paving can’t begin with colder temperatures.

“The contractors are chomping at the bid to get started,” Dennison said. “They haven’t worked all winter and now the cold weather is holding things up.”

Two specific contracts that were approved by commissioners are the CR 40 culvert project and the CR 23 bridge repair. Both roads have been closed since the summer while Dennison applied and then waited for federal funding.

Both bridge contracts are being funded at a 95 percent federal funding to 5 percent county.

“You can’t get a better deal than that,” Commissioner Warren Davis said.

After federal funding was approved, commissioners have approved the contract for the CR 40 culvert replacement contract and awarded it to Adena Corp. for $264,085.79.

The bridge rehabilitation project on CR 23 east of CR 172 was awarded to Crawford Construction Co. for $217,940.00. The county’s amount will be between $20,000 and $23,000.

The budget for roads has been pared down by 30 percent. Dennison said he had originally planned for 40 miles of chip and seal to protect paved roads. This year he has budgeted for only eight miles of chip and seal with some spot paving.

“We have to look at the budget for the entire year,” Dennison said. “There should be a comeback, but we still have to be sure we can pay.”

The chip and seal process can make a newly paved road last as much as five years longer with chip and seal. Dennison gave the example of CR 23 that was paved with an “intermediate” paving and then covered with chip and seal a couple years later. He said it has held up well.

“We work on berms; we pave, then chip and seal so the water runs off,” Dennison explained. “Keeping off the water is the purpose, so it doesn’t lay there to make pot holes.”

Commissioners also approved the north county paving package at $973,158.45 to be awarded to Mid-Ohio Paving for $973,158.45.

The bid for the south paving project package came in at $836, 409.32 for Kokosing Construction Co.

Dennison said there are some changes to his original plans in both the north and south sections of the county in addition to eliminating 30 miles of chip and seal.

Dennison realizes that county residents are anxious to get work done on their roads. He will be posting a revised list of county roads to be paved and chip and seal on the Morrow County Engineer Facebook page when the final decisions are made.

With federal funding now approved, work should begin in early May for County Road 23 bridge and County Road 40 culvert replacement. federal funding now approved, work should begin in early May for County Road 23 bridge and County Road 40 culvert replacement. Sentinel Photo

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel