Fiscal Court looking at roads in the county from Hwy 22 East to Mullins Road Bridge
As motorists head east out of Falmouth across Highway 22, the first indication that an approximate half mile stretch is going to be rough is a stretch of orange caution cones over the uneven surface.
Just a couple football fields further, almost all of the shoulder and part of the white line that warns of the edge of the road has fallen into the Licking River.
As the motorist turns a slight curve, he can see trees, embankment, and orange caution cones settled into the river as a large portion of the embankment up to and slightly under the edge of the road has slid into the river.
In the past two Pendleton County Fiscal Court meetings, Magistrate of District 4, Rick Mineer, has questioned what is being done.
“It has some serious concerns, but Craig Moore of the state road department is working to get people scheduled to repair the damage due to the excessive rain,” said Magistrate Rick Mineer, who oversees District 4. That is the district where the road slippage on Highway 22 has occurred.
Nancy Wood, Public Information Officer of Kentucky Transportation District 6, emailed Falmouth Outlook, “We are planning to repair the road as needed. We have contacted a contractor and are in the process of gathering funds and scheduling the repairs. The process will take several weeks.”
With more heavy rain to surely fall in the spring, it is a realistic option that motorists might see a lane closed at some point.
“We will continue to monitor the slides and, if necessary, close the road if further damage occurs,” she added.
Working with Mineer, Judge David Fields said, “I have total confidence in the KYTD 6 and the local state road department monitoring this area on Hwy 22 for any significant changes or safety issues that may come up; in addition, I would urge anyone driving through this area to be cautious and safe.”
Mineer added, “I want everyone to be aware of the conditions out there and that we are diligently working on getting them to take care of it.”
While there were other items on the agenda, a good portion of the Fiscal Court meeting on Tuesday, February 26, centered on the roads in Pendleton County.
Chris Rice of the State Road Department located in Falmouth presented the recommended projects for the state roads in Pendleton County through the rural secondary program.
Pendleton County’s allotment was just under a million dollars at $944,047. For general maintenance and traffic throughout the year (potholes, ditching, etc) of the 83.7 miles of state road, $377,200 is budgeted.
With a carryover of $155,892 from the previous year, $188,809 in flex funds for Fiscal Court to decide its usage, and $2,400 for county judge expenses, the state had $531,530 for usage.
The top three projects centered on KY 330/Falmouth Morgan Road, Ky 491/Gardnersville Road and KY 3184/Center Ridge Road.
Rice explained to the court that there is still discussion being held on whether to Cap Seal or resurface the 1.270 miles on KY 330. The cost for the project is estimated at $114,054.
The KY 491 project is to resurface 4,855 miles at a cost of $300,986.
The Ky 3184 project is chip seal of 4.275 miles at a cost of $136,559.
The three projects came at an overrun cost of $20,069. Rice felt confident that the deficit would be covered as bids generally come in lower than what is estimated. In answering a query from court members, he indicated that if they ran out of funds, they would simply stop the project where it was when funds ran out.
Magistrate Josh Plummer questioned how the ranking of roads were determined.
Rice said, “We go out and see the deterioration of the roads and rank them.”
He also indicated that if the county would release the flex funds to the state road department, they would chip seal a 6.013 mile section of KY 1053/Broadford Road.
“Chip seal is half of what resurfacing cost is and extends the life of resurfacing,” explained Rice about why chip or cap sealing is chosen over resurfacing.
Magistrate Rick Mineer had made a motion to accept the top three bids with the county retaining the $188,809 in flex funds for county road projects.
After discussion on the possible shortage on Center Ridge Road and at a request from Magistrate Alan Whaley whose district is the site of the Center Ridge Road project, he changed his motion to retain the flex funds minus the $20,069 possible overrun costs.
There were also questions about the status of repairs on KY 22 and the Mullins Road Bridge project.
Judge Executive David Fields informed the court that the bid specifications for the bridge was 75 feet. The companies who bid the project were only certified for 70 feet. The state would not approve the company with the bid selected.
In February, the company had submitted an application for certification of that length but was denied because they had an addition mistake in their application.
According to Judge Fields they are resubmitting their application in March. “If we have to rebid it to the larger companies, it will come back at a significantly higher cost.”
Later he added that if they do not get certification, “We may have to look at another design.”
Magistrate Darrin Gregg inquired if the project could be shortened by five feet.
Judge Fields answered, “We have tried but it cannot.”