Franklin County Fixed Many Road Problems - The Missourian: Local News

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Franklin County Fixed Many Road Problems

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 7:00 am

Work is almost completed fixing problems from the flawed Pave the County program, said Eva Gadcke, Franklin County’s highway administrator.

Some of the roads in the program were incorrectly built, but Gadcke said about 95 percent of the problems have now been fixed.

Gadcke recently gave a report on what her department accomplished in 2012 and what it has planned for this year.

Projects completed in 2012 included a new traffic signal at Bardot Street and a quarter of a mile of fresh pavement on Highway 30 in St. Clair.

The total project cost was $650,000, and it was funded with 80 percent federal funds, 10 percent city and 10 percent St. Clair school district.

The city’s funding included $57,610 from Franklin County’s half-cent sales tax grant. The county designates 5 percent of its road and bridge tax for local community grants.

Below are projects that were funded with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent county funds:

• A new bridge at Country Club Road near Washington has been completed for $350,000.

• The Enoch’s Knob Road bridge in the New Haven area is almost done for a cost of $1.3 million.

• A new bridge at Wild Plum Valley Road  in the Pacific area is almost done for $350,000.

• A small bridge is still under construction at Herbst Road in the Union area for $350,000.

• Replacement of the Bucklick School Road bridge near New Haven just went out to bid, and it is expected to cost $340,000.

• The Labadie Great Streets project, which will add aesthetic and drainage enhancements to Front Street downtown, will begin construction this month. Total project cost is $1 million.

County Funded Work

Several projects that were funded with 100 percent county funds also were completed this year.

They include:

• A low-water crossing at Boeuf Lutheran Road in the New Haven area, $250,000.

• Hot mix asphalt overlay of 8.4 miles, which included the following roads:

Old Manchester north of Pacific; Prairie Dell near Union; Old Mount Hope near Lonedell; Neier near Union; Toelke Lane near Leslie; Holy Family Church near Port Hudson; and West Gravois near St. Clair.

• Chip-sealed 3.15 miles. Chip sealing involves putting down an oil surface and chipped rock application to create a new road surface.

• Prepared 7.5 miles of roads for new surfacing in 2013. The roads that will be resurfaced are Little Indian south of Lonedell; Grob near Gerald; Frost south of Lonedell; and Grand Army near Labadie.

• Striped 86.5 miles of roads for $90,000.

No costs were available on much of the county’s work in 2012 due to a  computer system crash, which is in the process of being fixed, Gadcke said.

Goals for This Year

• Finalizing design on a mile of roadway on Hogan Road in the Gray Summit area. This will be about a $1 million project, Gadcke said, adding that it will be the 80-20 split of federal and county funds.

• Replacing the Circle Drive bridge, which goes over the railroad tracks in Robertsville. Design should be completed this year, with construction possibly starting in early 2014. It will cost at least $250,000 under the 80-20 split.

• Work on the design of a new Shawnee Ford Road bridge over the Bourbeuse River near Sullivan. This will cost about $1.5 million under the same federal-county funding split.

• Chip seal 7.5 miles of roads.

• Computerize the county’s 95-vehicle fleet maintenance program to better manage equipment.

•  Conduct traffic counts as a tool to leverage more funding.

• Seek grants to purchase dump trucks that run on alternative fuels, such as propane or natural gas. This could help reduce the county’s fuel costs, which average  $53,000 a month.

• Apply for $3.6 million in federal funds to replace Bend Road bridge in eastern Franklin County. This bridge, which crosses the Meramec River, is regarded as the worst in Franklin County.  The county would pay $1.5 million of the project cost.

Gadcke said she wants residents to know that more  roadwork could be added in 2013, but first she has to see  how oil prices go.

The price of oil heavily factors into her department because it is used for fuel, road surfaces and lubricants.

“It is the most volatile commodity out there,” Gadcke said, adding that her department will stretch the money as far as it can.

/local_news