Thursday, March 31, 2011
Supervisors plan road projects
By SUE WATSON
With not much money to work with until Congress passes new federal highway legislation, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors was advised by engineer Larry Britt to program what money is available in state funds before the deadline.
Three items need programming before July 1 when counties will not be able to pass any more road and bridge work until the election is over.
Britt said the county is eligible for $407,000 in State Aid money but must match that with $107,000 in local dollars in order to obtain it.
There is $272,000 in State Transportation Program funds that the county cannot spend without a State Aid match, he said. There are limits on how the program monies can be spent and while supervisors would like to have money to overlay county roads with asphalt, the money, if available, would not go far. This leaves each district competing for expenditures of what is available.
“So, there is $300,000 to spend on reseal or overlay,” Britt said.
Supervisor George Zinn III asked what would be required to rework a loop of Old Highway 4 West beginning in Holly Springs and tying in to New Highway 4 near Galena.
Britt said the Mississippi Department of Transportation can’t find the old road plans that define the rights-of-way and the standards it used in construction of the road. If the plans could be found, then the reworking of the highway could fall under the standards in the old plan and therefore cost less money than if current standards were applied.
“The rule of thumb is if you can produce a set of old MDOT plans to prove it was constructed by a set of standards and the right-of-way (the county can use those standards),” said Britt. The road had to have been constructed in the 1980s, he said.
Zinn said the right-of-way should be a matter of record.
Chancery Clerk Chuck Thomas said his office has not been able to come up with the old documents.
“It was B.C. - before Chuck,” he said.
Britt said the plans for New Highway 4 West are available and may have some areas of right-of-way described including some plans in the courthouse records.
The stretch of Old Highway 4 from Galena back to town is 7.7 miles. Britt said the 3.5 miles closest to town is the worse off. At $52,000 a mile to reseal, including striping and signage, there is enough money to do only 5.8 miles, he said.
STP funds can be spent on federal routes for overlay and have been used on Stonewall Road, Britt said. That work would require widening shoulders by two feet and striping.
“So that $307,000 in STP money could overlay a couple of miles,” Britt said. “Or we could use it on off-system bridges.”
Zinn motioned to reseal and stripe 5.8 miles of Highway 4 and supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett seconded the motion, but the motion died for lack of votes.
Supervisor Willie Flemon then asked to program some overlay at Lee’s Crossing.
“Sounds like what we get to do is bump heads and see what comes first,” Bennett quipped.
Britt explained it is hard to get reseal money from STP funds.
Bennett then called for a list of a of all roads that have been worked so the board can hash out whose district gets programed for these dollars.
Britt agreed to provide the list at the April 4 board meeting.
A third pot of money, $285,843, may be available from Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program funds, Britt said. He suggested Valentine Road bridge could be rebuilt with it. The bridge is built of wood and is narrow, he said.
Supervisor Eddie Dixon motioned to rebuild the bridge with a second by supervisor Keith Taylor. The motion passed unanimously.
Some work is already programmed such as Lunati Road to Lake Center – programmed for striping and signage with State Aid.
The board discussed some erosion problems at the North Holly Springs Bypass close to the Highway 311 interchange. Britt said the road is close to getting a final inspection when it then can be turned over to the City of Holly Springs.
The board ordered repair of two eroding driveways on Old Highway 7 South near Waterford where silt and sand has been washing out into the road, creating a danger.
Bennett said he has received a number of calls about the danger to drivers. Supervisors also approved the clearing of a clogged water pipe of silt near the driveways. Water had been collecting in a large cavity, creating a danger to anyone who may have veered off into it.
Work proceeded on that project this week.
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