County crews catch­ing up on road re­pair list

Record Observer - - Front Page - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

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.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

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.

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