The Marion County Board of Supervisors approved the Secondary Road Department’s Five Year Plan on Tuesday. This plan is required to be done by April 15 to receive funding from the Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Authority. The plan helps project how the money received by Secondary Roads will be allocated.
Marion County Engineer Tyler Christian indicates that there are a number of factors taken into account when prioritizing the bridge and road construction projects in a five-year plan. Age, amount of traffic, and impact to the public are among the factors considered.
With 885 total miles of road overseen by the Secondary Road Department, planning and budgeting are crucial. In Fiscal Year 2015, Christian has budgeted $4,218,500 worth of repairs.
Gravel roads are the last to be assessed. There are no gravel roads in the five-year program scheduled for paving. Traffic must reach at least 200 vehicles a day before Secondary Roads will consider paving.
Road funding comes from various sources. Secondary Roads tracks the fund balances to ensure that there is enough money available for projects currently in development, or to accumulate for a future project.
This is Christian’s first five-year plan to prepare for Marion County. He said that he did not change many priorities from the plan submitted last year by former Engineer, Roger Schletzbaum.
When a bridge project is scheduled to begin, residents are given a week’s notice. Letters are also sent out to residents who will be affected by seal coat projects, between two and six months ahead of the projects. For major road projects, such as this summer’s overlay on G-40, Christian likes to have input from the public through the design process.
One of Christian’s goals is to have public meetings, prior to all future projects, to answer questions and try to minimize the public inconvenience.
“I think it’s going to be a good construction season,” Christian said of this summer.