County crews catching up on road repair list
CENTREVILLE — If all goes as planned, the county will be caught up on repairing and restoring its roadways to the same capacity it had prior to the recession by the end of fiscal 2018, said Shane Moore, chief roads engineer with the Department of Public Works, during the Tuesday, July 11, county commission meeting.
Public Works Director Todd Mohn said another busy year of catching up has taken place to get the county’s roads back to good order.
“We have another very aggressive year to catch up on our backlog of road paving projects, and I think we’re going to get there,” Mohn said. “We are going to get there this year.”
One goal that the commissioners set forth after taking office was funding improvements to county infrastructure because, after the recession, a repairs halt took place, leaving many roads in disrepair.
In fiscal 2017, Moore said the county, with the help of various subcontractors, made improvements to some 126 miles of roadway, “which is one of the largest user roadway mileages we’ve done.”
For the upcoming fiscal year, Moore said the department is aiming to complete 134 miles of road resurfacing projects. Work in the northern part of the county, focused from Church Hill to areas north, began on July 17.
The resurfacing program has projects for tar and chip services, slurry seal and hot mix asphalt.
Moore said after the 2007 recession, the county stopped providing money for annual road improvement projects due to a lack of funding. In fiscal 2013, Moore said, the county began its paving program again and averaged 55 miles of improvements a year through fiscal 2015.
The four years prior to fiscal 2013, the county did no improvements, Moore said.
As the economy bounced back some and the county’s budget began to increase, funds have since been made available to ramp up the repaving efforts to get the 562 miles of county roads back in order. In the county’s fiscal 2018 capital budget for the Roads Division, which went into effect on July 1, $2.4 million was allocated for asphalt overlay projects.
Moore said Public Works will “dovetail into a maintenance program” that aims to complete work on about 70 miles per year moving forward.
Commissioner Mark Anderson said he thinks the county is heading in the right direction.
“Roads, unlike skin, don’t heal themselves, they get worse,” Anderson said. “And so you end up with an unfunded, accruing liability that now you’ve dealt with, caught up with, and it’s great that we’re in the shape that we’re in now.”
Commission President Steve Wilson said he gave the department “high commendation” for the amount of work completed.
Follow Mike Davis on Twitter: @mike_kibaytimes.
Queen Anne’s County Department of Public Works Director Todd Mohn, left, and Chief Roads Engineer Shane Moore give the county commissioners an update on the road resurfacing program Tuesday, July 11.