For the first time in recent history, a detailed county highway report has been delivered to the Franklin County Commission.
Highway Administrator Ron Williams presented the details Tuesday with information on the current condition of county roads, what was done to improve them in 2017 and what plans are in the works for 2018.
“I guess you could call this the ‘State of the Highway Department,” Williams said. “Currently, our roads are in the 50th percentile. About half are a bit above average and half are slightly below average.”
Williams added although most of the roads are at average condition, the county is responsible for 20 bridges, many of which recent the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) inspections found below sufficiency.
“We keep a log of all of our roads and it is divided by district,” Williams explained. “The list shows what type of surface the road has (gravel, chip and seal, asphalt. etc.).
The county also is embarking on a program to identify several bridges less than 20 feet in length and culverts to get them properly mapped on permanent lists.
That way their condition can be tracked and monitored instead of just going by general knowledge of workers in those rural areas.
Maintenance work on county roads is separated by two geographic districts and the type of project.
In the East District, maintenance was done on 16 roads totaling $426,130.
In the West District, maintenance was performed on 13 roads with expenditures of $651,474.
Capital projects comprised mostly of asphalt overlays on eight roads, a surface treatment on one and surface replacements of three others totaled $952,570.
The county also embarked on six bridge replacement projects of various size with the help of federal Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) monies.
Even with the TIP money, the projects cost the county $1,536,070 in 2017.
This year maintenance is planned on 20 roads in the East District projected to cost $769,035.
West District maintenance costs are estimated slightly higher at $815,945 for work on 13 roads.
Capital projects include asphalt overlays on eight roads, treatments on two roads and replacements on eight roads in the county are estimated to cost $1,653,800.
After reinstating the program last fall, the county is beginning conversions of six gravel roads to be paved in 2018.
Cost for new gravel to lay a base will be $169,559 and the addition of double oil and chip will be an additional $434,234.
Williams explained this work and expense is only the first phase of paving the gravel roads and additional treatments and funds will be needed next year as well.
Work will continue and be completed on the same six bridges as conducted last year and will again be part of the TIP.
The county highway department total budget for 2018 is $21,435,390, which is only a minor increase of $22,500 over last year.
More than $21.4 million of Franklin County’s $55.9 million budget will go toward the construction and maintenance of the county’s 835 miles of roadway, 1,670 miles of right of way and 160 bridges.
The actual operating expenses will be $19,900,390 with an additional $1,535,452 appropriated for emergency reserves.
According to the 2018 budget, $11,217,405, or 77 percent of the road and bridge fund revenues is generated by taxes.
An additional $3,248,000, 22 percent, comes from intergovernmental revenue, and the remaining 2 percent comes from interest, transfers and other revenue.