The county has been on a five-year rotation of chipping and sealing the 200 miles of hard top roads.
Rick Howard, Franklin County Commission chair, said he thought the county would be switching to a six-year rotation once they went to a new material a few years ago.
“It would have longer time it would hold up,” Howard said. “That is one of the reasons we went to it.”
David Lee, county public works director, was not familiar with that discussion.
“It will take some study,” Lee said. “It is hard to tell with the winter we have had [if the material will hold up]. We are seeing issues in roads that we did not see before. It is hard for me to tell you what is normal. Most of the information we get now it is a five-year rotation. That is a general information. It may not be specific to the type of material we are putting down.”
The material the county has used on the roads for the past few year is CM-L. Lee told the commissioners that material is superior to others.
“It has better traction on the roads,” Lee said. “It it less apt to break windshields. Whenever the sun hits it, it has a tendency to melt quicker when there is ice.”
The county plans to chip and seal 50 miles this summer, which is the same as last year. Lee said the roads being chipped and sealed are Colorado Road from Williamsburg south to the county line; John Brown from Old 50 east to the county line; Ellis and Oregon roads, and Cloud from US-59 to Lane.
“We rotate around the county, last year we were in the Pomona area,” Lee said. “This year we are down south. We will move to the east side of the county next year.”
The county accepted the chip-seal bid from Vance Brothers, Kansas City, Missouri, for just under $930,000, which was nearly $100,000 cheaper than the APAC-Kansas, Inc., Emporia, bid. Lee said it was the same two bidders from last year when Vance was awarded that bid.
The county also accepted a bid from Straight-Line Striping, Inc., in the amount of $51,484.80, to repaint the lines once the chip-seal project is finished.
“Both Vance and Straight-Line we have used multiple years,” Lee said. “They are familiar with our operation. We are familiar with them.”
Lee said the chip and seal is a protective coating which preserves the road surface. He said the project keeps getting more expensive each year with the material costs.
“Commissioner Howard mentioned something to me that I was not aware of,” Lee said about the six-year rotation. “I will look into it and see if it is feasible to do that.”
Howard hopes this year the two companies can have better timing so the roads can be striped when completed.
“We had roads sit for a long time once they were chip and sealed before there were any lines put on them,” Howard said of last year. “They were having trouble on those roads at night. Hopefully, we can coordinate a little better with Vance Brothers and the marking company to get them painted quicker. Part of the problem last year was they ran out of material and then had to came back [to finish]. The painting company was not coming until they were done to make one trip here.”
Lee said the time table for the project has not been set yet.
“We hope they get it done during July and August,” Lee said. “The contract goes into September. It all depends on a lot of different factors.”