newsdemocratleader.com

County making progress with gravel roads

Chris Cooper Managing Editor

October 10, 2013

At least one of the districts in Logan County is now free from gravel roads, according to Road Superintendent Paul Lyne.


Sixth District Magistrate Thomas Bouldin declared his district has no more gravel roads that need to be paved.


There are 516 miles of roads in Logan County. As of Sept. 17, 2013, there are 75 miles of gravel roads and 441 that are blacktopped. A few years ago there were 100 miles of gravel roads in the county, however slowly but surely, the county is narrowing that number.


“We have a goal and we are working towards it. We are trying to reduce the gravel roads as fast as we can with the funds that we get,” said Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick.


The county receives funds from the state (Road Aid) annually, as well as flex dollars which are generated from a fuel tax. The Logan County Fiscal Court also pulls monies from their own coffers to add to that number, assuring over one million a year earmarked for either blacktopping roads or resurfacing existing roads. In 2012-2013, the county added $350,000 to road projects. This fiscal year they pulled $100,000. Last fiscal year the county spent $1,700,000 on county roads. This year that number decreased a bit at $1,100,000.


Districts are allotted the funds on a percentage basis. It is divided out according to miles in each district.


District 1 (magistrate Russell Poore) has 8.3 percent county road miles


District 2 (magistrate Jack Crossley) 20 percent county road miles


Disrtict 3 (magistrate Barry Wright) 22.6 percent county road miles


District 4 (magistrate Drexel Johnson) 26 percent county road miles


District 5 (magistrate Jo Orange) 17 percent county road miles


District 6 (magistrate Thoman Bouldin) 6.1 percent county road miles


Fiscal Court is responsible for maintaining the 500 plus miles of roads in the county whether they are blacktopped or gravel. Lyne said the road department grades and rocks the 75 miles of gravel roads in the county at least five times per year, and some of them more.


“It really depends on the weather and how much it rains and washes the gravel roads out,” said Lyne as to how many times they grade and rock.


According to Lyne some of the gravel roads that remain are considered farming roads that are better left gravel due to the high traffic of farm equipment that is driven on them. Fifteen or so miles of the gravel roads need to stay gravel, said Lyne.


Most of the gravel roads are located in the northern end of the county in magistrate Johnson’s district. It seems magistrates that sit in that district seat are always battling where to spend their road dollars, which never seem to be enough.


“It’s really up to the magistrate on how they spend their percentage and what roads to spend it on each year,” said judge Chick.


Magistrate Bouldin decided to use his funds to pave Lyne Road and Warren Road off of Hwy. 100. These were the two remaining gravel roads in his district. One has several residents living on it, while the other was very difficult to maneuver for the road department.


“Over the course of my tenure as magistrate, it has been one of my long-term goals to eliminate the county’s gravel roads in my district,” said magistrate Bouldin. “ I think it enhances the quality of life for people living around and traveling on those roads; plus, it helps to beautify our great county. With the recent paving of Warren Road, Lyne Road, and Charlie Mac Road, I’m happy to say all 30.3 miles of county roads in District 6 are now gravel-free. Of course we are the smallest district with the fewest miles of roadway, but we also receive the smallest percentage of the road asphalt/resurfacing budget. Therefore, it took a careful balance between maintaining the roads we have and saving my allocations for several years to fund such large paving projects, which together totaled $43,000. In my opinion, when a district improves its roads, it benefits the whole county.”


Superintendent Lyne said it is cost effective to have a road blacktopped. He said for a decade there is little to no maintenance. “For the most part I would like to see all roads in the county blacktopped, unless they are farm roads,” said Lyne.


Chick thinks the county is making a lot of progress.


“Over the past seven years we have brought the number of graveled roads from 100 to 75 miles. It is my hopes someday all the roads in the county are paved,” said Chick.