This winter was hard on the hard surface roads throughout the county.
The Franklin County public works department has been busy looking at different ways to combat the situation while working within their budget.
One way to do that was to cut the number of miles in half on this summer’s chip-seal project and use the other half of that money to tackle other problems throughout the county.
Public works brought forward a request Monday to the county commissioners during their study session to redo portions of Rock Creek, Nebraska, Labette roads and partner with the City of Wellsville on repaving 300 feet of Stafford Road leading into a new truck stop.
Derek Brown, county administrator/counselor, said public works identified 39 locations throughout the county that were in need of repair.
“There are certain areas that need between 1-3 inches of milling and asphalt overlay,” he said. “There are others that need between 4-8 inches that need more extensive repair.”
The approximate cost on those projects would be $134,000 and $75,000 for Stafford Road for a total of right at $210,000.
“Those are large sums of money,” Brown said. “How would we pay for that? In the public works budget, there is a maintenance contract line. That line is solely there for the chip-seal project. It is $1.1 million.
“Our bid came in at $929,000, so we were already under it. We reached out to Vance Brothers that we only need to do about half the chip-sealing. We are in the fifth year in the rotation. We asked them to revise their bid and they were gracious enough to do that. They gave us the same unit price on the materials. The revised bid is $482,784. The cut is not quite in half, but pretty close. Take $1.1 million subtract the revised chip-seal bid, you have $617,000 left in that line of the budget, currently unallocated. Those two projects could come out of that. We are still going to have about $400,000 left in that line.”
Brown said Nebraska and Labette Roads have needed repairs for a long time.
“That intersection, especially is in rough shape,” Brown said. “The work we are going to do on Nebraska and Labette, all of that will be chip-sealed over. It is part of that $482,000 we talked about. Killough could do this work and then Vance Brothers [would do the chip-seal]. It will make it look a lot better.”
Brown said they decided to contract the job to Killough because the county staff is overwhelmed right now.
“We have had such a rough winter,” he said. “We want our staff concentrating on so many other areas. This will allow them to remain focused in those areas.”
Jeff Welton, county road and bridge superintendent, explained the difference between the projects as Rock Creek is heavily used by trucks and would need to be redug and re-establish the base. Nebraska Road would just need a skim coating.
“One is a peel and replace and the other is an actual rebuild,” he said.
Commissioner Ianne Dickinson said this was a good way to reach more of the county roads this year without going over budget.
“This is a great opportunity for us,” Dickinson said. “We have the extra money, let’s take care of the roads. Hopefully, we won’t have another winter like this.”
The county would partner with the City of Wellsville on the Stafford Road project. Brown explained the 300 feet is what Keim, the owners of the new truck stop, needed to get the project up and running.
“This would get Keim in there,” Brown said. “This would be a good partnership. “It is land that is ripe for growth. I think we can help them work through some of the programs that KDOT has.”
Commissioner Don Stottlemire said the project is humming along and could be open by the end of the year.
“It will be a good deal for the community,” Stottlemire said. “It is a good thing for the county to partner with. It is not like a normal truck stop with the driving school. If everything goes well, in a year or two, I look for them to do something else to expand on the facilities.”
Brown said he would bring these options back to the commissioners for their approval either Wednesday or the following week.