Engineer has ambitious summer plans

WINTERSVILLE – Jefferson County Engineer’s Department is planning another ambitious summer work schedule this year.

The department has plans to chip and seal 41 miles of county road and pave more than 8 miles.

The engineer department last summer purchased a $100,000 chip spreader, which allowed crews to chip and seal nearly 41.5 miles of county roads in 2012. Crews can chip and seal about 3 miles of road a day with the new equipment.

Chipping and sealing roads usually lasts about four years. The county has about 150 miles of roads that are chipped sealed, said Andy Bryan, county chief deputy engineer.

Base repair work, ditching and culvert work are done on most roads prior to chipping and sealing, Bryan said.

Also, shoulder and ditching work will be done on about 90 miles of county roads.

Bryan said other summer maintenance will include guardrail repairs, weed control and grass cutting.

He added there have been problems on steep hills with chip and seal and the county will now use a thin asphalt overlay on the hills to give the roads a longer life.

County Engineer James Branagan said the county received Ohio Public Works Commission grants to repave about 8 miles of county Road 15 and for the repaving on county Road 9.

Branagan said bridges on Springfield Township Road 278 and county Road 51 in Saline Township will be replaced. He said a bridge on county Road 39 is scheduled to be replaced in several years but that job may be pushed forward since a crack in a bridge pier was discovered, resulting in one lane of the bridge being closed. He said the 100-foot-long bridge may be redecked or a temporary repair may be done to give the engineer’s department time to design a replacement.

Branagan said slips on county Roads 15 and 26 also are scheduled to be completed, again using grants from the Ohio Public Works Commission. He said there are several other slips the engineer’s department is keeping an eye on to see if immediate work is warranted.

Also, the engineer’s department is looking this summer to buy a $175,000 wheeled excavator, Bryan said. He said the department has a track excavator but a wheeled excavator can be moved more easily, especially if a slide temporarily closes a road.

The design work on the Goulds Road bridge continues, Branagan said. He said the federal government is paying a large portion of the $1.5 million bridge replacement, thereby slowing the design plans.

“It is a complicated bridge,” he said.

He said the county will have to purchase rights of way for the bridge, and the federal government may have to conduct an environmental study that alone could take a year. He said the project is set to be funded in 2015. The county has been using a temporary bridge at the site.

Branagan said he has no idea on how the gas and oil industry will expand next year. The gas drilling companies have to upgrade roads prior to heavy hauling. The companies have spent more than $3 million upgrading county roads in Jefferson County.

The following is a list of county roads to be chipped and sealed this summer and the length: County Road 17, 6 miles; county Road 18, 2.64 miles; county Road 24, 1.3 miles; county Road 28, 2.56 miles; county Road 36, 4.64 miles; county Road 43, 2.3 miles; county Road 45, 2.85 miles; county Road 55, 6.93 miles; county Road 58, 3 miles; county Road 74, 5.31 miles; and county Road 75, 3.74 miles.