MOUNT GILEAD — Morrow County Engineer, Bart Dennison gave a progress report on Morrow County roads to 30 county residents at a public meeting last Thursday. At that time he presented maps with county roads to be paved and also a map of roads that are planned for chip and seal.
Dennison began by saying he feels the pain of everyone for the bad condition of county roads this winter. He said the weather conditions were the worst in many years for the freezing and thawing that causes potholes to form.
“We have at least 100 miles of county roads that need paving this spring, and we had to pare it down to about 30 miles of road that we will be able to complete,” Dennison said.
The county is beginning the second year of its five year plan for road improvement in 2018. Morrow County has 380 miles of county roads, many of which are in poor condition. Dennison said his goal is to complete repair on half of the roads in five years with the help of levy money. He was also able to purchase much needed equipment with the help of a loan from the county treasury this week.
It is the plan to have all 380 miles of roads completed in 10 years. The goal for 2018 is to complete 30+ miles of road with paving and 40 miles with chip and seal.
One major challenge Dennison faces is increasing cost. 15 years ago it cost $25,000 for a mile of pavement and it is now $70,000 to $80,000 to pave a mile. The income revenue has remained the same as cost has increased. He said the levy money has made the difference in being able to get the work done.
Besides the bad weather and rising costs, Dennison said that Morrow County has 380 miles of county roads to pave and maintain. That compares to just 218 miles of county roads in Crawford County and 333 miles in Delaware County. Both of those counties have more revenue to work with for the number of miles they have responsibility for.
Tom Rensch said that the county’s Dura-patcher machine is doing a good job. He said that even though the Marion-Edison Road where he lives is in terrible shape, the patching by the Durapatcher has held up.
Dennison said the Marion Edison road is one of the roads they will be working on this spring. They will be paving it with grindings of recycled asphalt.
One resident questioned if the condition of the base of the roads was part of the problem.
Dennison answered that yes it is a problem, but not that many county roads in the state have properly engineered roads.
“We have a lot of tired, old asphalt,” said Dennison. “We would be here forever if we went in to do a base on every county road.”
One solution is making sure berms are cut before paving and there is good drainage off roads. Several commented on the problem of heavy trucks traveling on county roads. They both add to the problem and cause of the bad road conditions.
Dennison said they will consider using the spot paver if people call in to say they have really bad rough spots.
A couple people asked about paving the gravel or stone roads. Dennison answered that the county won’t tackle the gravel roads until the paved roads are in good shape.
There was a question on why township roads are in so much better shape than county roads. Commissioner Warren Davis answered that each of our township roads only have 18 to 20 miles of road to maintain and many of the township trustees do much of the work themselves on the township roads.
Dennison said the county will be working on paving, cutting berms, maintenance and chip and seal this year. He asked that drivers watch out for those working on the roads.
Contractors will be placing bids for road work by May 16.
County roads listed to be bid for paving: The decision to pave is based both on road condition and the traffic count using the roads. Roads to receive chip and seal are to be announced later this month. Total roads for paving: 30.3 miles. Total for chip and seal to be 40 miles.
2018 Morrow County Roads South
CR 11 From SR 746 to TR 134
CR 15 From CR 204 to SR 314
CR 148 From Marion C/L to SR 746
CR 159 From SR 42 to CR 165
CR 166 From CR 25 to Cardington South Limits
CR 170 From SR 229 to CR25
CR 201 From SR 314 to Knox C/L
CR 204 From CR 15 to SR 656
218 Morrow County Roads North
CR 30 From TR 51 to SR 309
CR 40 From SR 288 to Crawford C/L
CR 46 From CR 57 to SR 288
CR 78 From SR 19 to CR 46
CR 109 From CR 98 to CR 20
CR 242 From SR 42 to SR 42