Pickerington Times-Sun

Township preparing for summer road maintenance

By MICHAEL HAYES
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Violet Township is set to embark on its 2013 summer road paving program with The Shelly Co. chosen as the lowest bidder for two separate paving bid packages.

June 5, the Violet Township Trustees unanimously approved The Shelly Co. be awarded the contracts because it was the lowest bidder.

The Shelly Co. had the lowest bid for the hot mix asphalt package at $325,159 as well as the lowest -- and only -- bid for the chip seal package at $145,891.

According to township engineer Greg Butcher, $500,000 was allocated for 2013 township street maintenance, with the funds mostly derived from Fairfield County's "Road and Bridge" Fund.

"The township has no road operating levy so we are reliant on road and bridge funds received from the county, the gas tax and the motor vehicle license tax," Butcher said.

He said budget constraints make it imperative the township prioritize which roads get treated.

"We need to be very judicious with our allocation and our evaluation becomes that much more important with increasing prices and stagnating revenues," Butcher said.

While he acknowledged the cost of asphalt has "stabilized," it nevertheless has "increased nearly three times in the 12 years" he has been with the township.

Butcher said a road levy might be in the cards in the future if stagnant revenues can't keep pace with increased material and trucking costs.

"We are in the process of reviewing alternative funding sources and a road levy is an option so we don't fall behind in our road maintenance," Butcher said.

He said to maintain the significant investment in its roads, Violet Township has avoided the high costs of rebuilding any component of its road system.

"An example of this is the utilization of the decades old chip seal process on our less traveled roads," Butcher said.

Chip seal is liquid asphalt covered with small stone and then sealed "with what's referred to as a fog seal," Butcher said.

It is less expensive than the "hot mix asphalt" Butcher said is usually reserved for use on "heavily-traveled state routes."

He said because of limited funding, local road systems are being forced to revert back to technologies such as chip seal "that are proven, but not as smooth" as hot mix asphalt.

In determining which roads get which paving treatment, Butcher said the township considers several factors, including a particular road's condition, traffic volume and when the road was last resurfaced.

Butcher has identified the following Violet Township roads to be resurfaced:

• Chevington Village: Education Drive; Ravine Ave.; Streamside Dr.; Easton Dr.; Village Way.

Haaf Farms subdivision: Wagonwood Drive; Olde Gate Drive; Linworthy Drive.

Mingo Estates: Circle Drive East.

Woodsfield subdivision: Birchwood Ave.; Greenbower Ave.; Twincreek Dr.; Woodsfield Ave.

• Amanda Northern Rd.; New England Acres subdivision (all streets); Sturbridge Meadows (all streets); Grant Lane; Terry Lane.

Butcher said Dove Parkway in the Canal Pointe Industrial Park will be resurfaced with CEDA funds.

He said the paving work will tentatively commence in late July or August and the list of roads might increase.

"We are evaluating other streets for potential inclusion into our 2013 Pavement Maintenance program," he said.

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