More than $5 million will be spent to patch holes, fill cracks and put down fresh pavement on hundreds of roads across the county.
Summer construction season is underway. Projects range from chip and sealing county roads, repaving main routes in the Center Grove area and fixing subdivision streets.
Exactly what gets done depends on how the road ranks against others in the community, and local governments say they never have enough money to get to every road on their list.
In Greenwood, for example, the city had a list of projects that totaled $2.4 million, and officials had to trim it down, removing projects to repave Carr Street, Stillwater Lane and Stonegate Drive.
In the unincorporated area of the county, some roads with the second-to-worst rating — meaning they have potholes, cracking that splits like alligator skin or pieces of the pavement drop at least 2 inches on the road — aren’t getting work done this year. The county is spending more than $1.7 million on work to 130 roads but had to cut others from the list because of funding, Johnson County Highway Department Director Luke Mastin said.
“Ultimately, we end up having to cut roads that we need to do something with because we don’t have enough funding,” Mastin said.
Those roads still need repairs, but they will have to wait at least another year, officials said.
Local officials determine which roads need work based on the condition, traffic volume and available funds.
Top roads in the county that need repairs this year include Spearsville Road near Trafalgar and Fairview Road near Greenwood, Mastin said. County employees patched Fairview Road this spring, but the patchwork did not stay on the road, so now it needs to be paved, he said.
The county wanted to repair Fairview Road all the way to State Road 37, but had to scale back the project due to funding, Mastin said. On County Road 750S in Nineveh Township, 4.5 miles of the road needed maintenance, but only 1.5 miles will be repaired, Mastin said.
The rest of the list includes paving other key routes in the Center Grove area, including sections of Smokey Row, Stones Crossing, Smith Valley and Morgantown roads, and subdivision streets in Carefree and Brockton Manor. Those roads were picked because they were ranked as some of the worst in the county, Mastin said.
More than 30 roads are being repaired with a process called chip-sealing, where workers spray liquid asphalt over the road and spread gravel over the top of the road. Those roads are in more rural areas, with less traffic, and the work is needed because multiple cracks and potholes have formed, Mastin said. The county plans to chip-seal 23 miles of roadway, six more than last year.
More than 75 percent of the roads on the list this year will get minimal repairs, such as chip-sealing or filling in cracks. Pavement lasts longer if preventative maintenance is done now, Mastin said. If the county did not do anything to keep the road in the best condition now, work to repave the road later costs thousands more. Repaving a road costs about $59,000 per mile, while filling in cracks or chip-sealing costs about $8,000 per mile, Mastin said.
The county is in charge of maintaining a total of 600 miles of roads, and this year is doing work to almost 85 miles. All available funds will be spent, and initial estimates show the department will go over budget by $89,000 with the current list. Mastin said he assumes the estimates are high.
Greenwood put together a full list of projects but then had to cut nearly $392,000 worth of work based on how much the city could afford to spend and how much the work would cost.
The city is spending nearly $2 million on projects this year, but portions of Carr Street, Stillwater Lane and Stonegate Drive that need to be repaved won’t get done, Greenwood city engineer Mark Richards said. The hope is that the city can do that work later.
In Franklin, money that had been set aside in a fund created years ago for flood repairs will now be spent on road work. That money initially came from city funds and was set aside to pay for projects as needed after the flood. Those projects have since been reimbursed by the federal government, so the city can now spend that money, Mayor Joe McGuinness said.
Officials wanted to put that money, in addition to savings from previous years’ projects, into road work, totaling more than $1.6 million, Franklin city engineer Travis Underhill said.
Most of the roads that will be repaved this summer are in the downtown area. The repairs will help prepare downtown streets for when Jefferson Street is reconstructed over the next four years. Since residents will use side streets to drive through downtown, the streets will be repaved to prepare for additional traffic, Underhill said. Workers also will do work to alleys around downtown that also might be used during construction.
Work includes repaving sections of King, Jefferson and Walnut streets. The work to Walnut is needed after the street had increased traffic during the reconstruction of North Main Street. Now that North Main is open, Walnut needs repairs after three years of use as a detour, Underhill said.
Later this year, work will begin on the first section of an $11 million project to expand and repave Jefferson Street across the city. That work is being paid for with a separate fund from money given to the city from the Indiana Department of Transportation and grants when Franklin took ownership of State Road 44.
Here is a look at some of the key road projects that will be done this year:
Fairview Road, between Morgantown and Peterman roads
Smokey Row Road, from Morgantown Road to State Road 135
Mullinix Road, between Smokey Row and Stones Crossing roads
County Road 144, between County Road 450W and Whiteland Road
Fry Road, between U.S. 31 and the bridge over Pleasant Run Creek
Fry Road, between State Road 135 and Covered Bridge Road
Main Street, from Averitt Road to Madison Avenue
Jefferson Street, from Middleton Road to Morning Drive
King Street, from U.S. 31 to Jackson Street
King Street, from Main Street to Water Street
King Street, from Home Avenue to Forsythe Street
Want to know if your neighborhood streets be repaired and paved, or the roads you take in your daily commute will be fixed?
If you live in Ashton Parke in Greenwood or Brockton Manor in the Center Grove area, the answer is yes.
If part of your drive includes Clark School Road or sections of Combs Road, be prepared for a slower trip while a new road surface settles.
And if your commute uses parts of King Street in Franklin or Fairview Road, west of State Road 135, you are in for a smoother trip.
To find out about all the roads that will be paved, patched and fixed this year, check out our list online at dailyjournal.net.