Kokosing Construction Company began work on County Road 22 on Oct. 18, and by the next afternoon, the crew had put down the first layer of pavement on the 5.41-mile stretch which started in Williamsport and extended to the Waterford Road, ending at the Knox County line.
Morrow County Engineer Bart Dennison said the plan for the roadwork was approved seven years ago. He said after it was approved, the county had to wait in line with other counties who had applied for federal grants.
The county received word this summer it would receive $2 million in grant funds, and the Morrow County Board of Commissioners approved the contract with Kokosing on Sept. 25 for $2,774,359.84. Dennison said he was able to “leverage” the grant by putting up $500,000 from the road levy money. Without the levy funds, the grant would not have been possible.
County Commissioner Tim Siegfried shared the list of county roads slated to be paved under the contract. After CR 22, the company will proceed to County Road 38 in Washington Township, which has 1.96 miles of paving. The other two roads with the contract are planned for next year. They are County Road 53 with 2.97 miles and County Road 28 running north and south, known as Cardington, Denmark, Martel Road with 5.08 miles of paving.
Dennison said only certain roads are eligible for paving with a federal grant. The most traveled roads are the ones they had to pick from, and out of those roads, they chose the roads which needed it most.
He was pleased with the progress being made with CR 22 and hopes they can finish both CR 22 and CR 38 by Thanksgiving. He said it’s a matter of the weather cooperating.
Kokosing employee Vinnie Phelps, who has worked for the company for 17 years, said all the roads will be getting two layers of asphalt. He added working on the Morrow County roads is much safer and more pleasant than on state highways. He worked on state Route 314 north of Chesterville when the paving was done a few years ago. He said the traffic just went whizzing by and was much more dangerous than working on county roads.
Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for The Morrow County Sentinel.