Spring brings road issues

Magistrates Bobby Fogle and Gary Veirs both expressed concern at the Wednesday,April 25 special called Fiscal Court meeting about the spring road slippage in their districts, specifically on Monroe Road in District 3 and on both Hwy 177 and Holtz Creek Road in District 2.

"We have done everything that we can do," said Eddie Rarrieck of the Pendleton County Road Department. He pointed out that the drilling and building up of the area besides the roads requires a special contractor to come in with the equipment. It would allow the company to drill the holes and insert beams to hold the embankment in place and prevent anymore slippage while repaving the road.

With a wet winter that had the county road crew out 18 times according to Rarrieck and then the heavy rains in Feb,, President Donald Trump upon request from Governor Matt Bevin released funds through FEMA for counties to use to rebuild from flooding. Pendleton County Judge Executive David Fields indicated he is in the process of trying to obtain $230,000 to address the slips. If those funds are denied, the county will request emergency funds from the state road department.

While some roads are a rough drive and show significant cracks, Rarrieck indicated that presently they are not considered unsafe but he and his crew are constantly evaluating road conditions. "Once a road becomes unsafe, we would call in an engineer to make the final determination on closing the road," he said.

Kentucky Road Department spokesperson Nancy Wood said, "This rainy, wet spring weather we have experience is the main culprit in many of the slips. We will take a look and evaluate the road and determine the best course of action. Many of these are prioritized with other repairs."

While the road slippage is the immediate concern, state officials indicated that the state road project is taking a different approach. The current highway plan contained 1,200 projects of which fewer than half were even partially funded, she said. That means the state overpromised road projects by more than $7 billion. The enacted 2018-20 highway funding plan nearly doubles asset management -- things like repairing or repaving roads -- while cutting in half mobility and safety projects, which are new roads and bridges.

According to Judge Fields, there will be a replacement of a bridge on 159 just north the intersection with 609. As well as the US 27 project has been scaled back. Once a $55 million dollar shovel ready project, it is now a $9 million project. A request has been made to work on right of ways from county roads onto US 27.

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