Franklin County

Franklin County Highway Administrator Eva Gadcke informed county commissioners this week about road projects scheduled for this coming summer.

She said some roads from the controversial Pave the County program still have not gotten a new surface, but work is moving forward to get the work completed.

There are four roads in the county’s East District that still must be done and eight in the West District that were on the original Pave the County list.

The Pave the County program was controversial because some of the work was improperly done, requiring the county to go back and fix the problems.

Two-Step Process

Gadcke, who was not the highway administrator when the Pave the County program started, explained that her office now upgrades roads through a two-step process.

The first step is to build up the road base with rock, widen the surface and install drainage facilities. Establishing the road base is done the first year, and the actual road surface is put on the next year.

Building the roads with this two-step process results in more quality work and a more solid base, Gadcke said. Longterm, this is a better use of taxpayer money, she added.

This year, the county has budgeted $1 million for hot mix overlays and $900,000 for chip and seal work.

Chip sealing involves putting down an asphalt oil surface and chipped rock application to create a new road surface.

Roads set for a chip and seal treatment this year are Johnson Lane between Pacific and Catawissa, Frost Road on the eastern edge of the county and Little Indian Creek Road in the southeast.

Grob Road and South Door Ford Road, which are in the central to southwest part of the county, will also get chip and seal treatment this year. Grube Road, which is in the same general area, also may be chip sealed if funding allows.

If all those roads are chip sealed, it would total 9.45 miles.

A full hot mix overlay is scheduled for three roads near Labadie — Grand Army, Bassett and Decker. A hot mix overlay also is planned for Kiel Lyon Road near New Haven.

North Commercial Road near St. Clair and Germantown Road near Union also will get hot mix overlays if funding allows.

If all those roads get a hot mix overlay, it would be a total of 15.1 miles.

Big Branch Road on the west edge of the county, Rye Creek Road in the southeast and Providence Road in the southwest will have their bases built up this year to get them ready for future surfacing.

Construction Costs

The cost to chip and seal a road, including preparing the rock base, is about $100,000 a mile while hot mix overlay is about $56,000 a mile, Gadcke said.

Hot mix overlay costs less because the base on those roads is already well established and does not have to be built up as much as those roads that get chip and seal treatment.

Hot mix overlay lasts about 10 years while chip and seal lasts three to five years, she said.

The highway department has already started making culvert repairs, but the county should be in full force on road work starting in June or July, Gadcke said.

She said the county is doing as much road work as is financially feasible.

In addition to the projects listed above, the county also will be doing routine maintenance such as crack repair, culvert work, ditch cleaning and brush removal.