District 3: Road and Bridge Report
Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3
The late summer has kept us busy mowing. At the same time, we prepared for winter by stock piling over 500 tons of sand.
With the cooler temperatures, we have ended our road resurfacing for the year. The late rainy season delayed our getting started. We did oil and chip on a mile of New Hope, a mile of Coombs, a mile of Paint Rd. by the Cache Cemetery, and 2.5 miles in Pecan Valley South.
The guys did a major repair project on Meers-Porter Hill Road just east of Meers. The road had deteriorated to a point where large portions had to be replaced. To move the water from under the roadway a French drain was placed down before the new asphalt was laid.
At the request of the City of Cache, we patched and then did an oil and chip overlay on Oak and Mountain View Streets, and oiled and chipped 4th Street from Elm to Oak Streets. We also patched streets in Indiahoma at their request.
We tried a new technique call Scrub Seal on Indiahoma Road from U.S. 62 north to the refuge gate. The oil used in this process is infused with latex and a set of brooms are pulled behind the oil distributor truck. The purpose of the brooms is to push the oil into and fill the cracks. Then a layer of 3/8” chips are laid down and rolled. This will extend the life of this asphalt road.
We had a bridge on Logue Chapel Road near the Faxon Cemetery that had caused us some concern because it had been settling. The bridge was built in early Statehood and had narrow concrete guardrails that would not allow the passage of larger, modern day farm equipment. We hired CEC Engineering to do a hydrology study to determine what could be used to replace it. They recommended a 10’ tinhorn.
Old railroad tank cars with the ends cut out and the wheels removed are available, and sometimes used, where a large tinhorn is needed. The guys took out the old bridge and installed the 10’ tank car. In addition to being faster to install, the cost was considerably less. The tank car cost $10,000. Whereas, a replacement bridge would have cost over $60,000 to build, and the road would have been closed for a longer period.
We are making progress on replacing the bridge on Airport Road. The additional right of way on the east side has been acquired, and we were fortunate that all the utilities are on the east side and have been relocated to accommodate the new bridge. We are tentatively scheduled for an April letting of the construction contract, provided that the right of way on the west side can be acquired.
We had a Plan-in-Hand meeting with the engineers and ODOT for the bridge that will replace the low water crossing at Post Oak Creek on Bishop Road. The construction of the bridge is scheduled for 2018.
At the request of the Emergency Manager, we improved the road going to the County’s repeater tower located on Big Rock Mountain near Medicine Park. The crew also cut down the tall grass that surrounded it to prevent damage in case of a fire.
We continue to help the City, towns and schools in the Western District. We moved some cement blocks for Cache’s Fall Fest, dug the holes in the Cache City park for the new playground equipment, cut down the shoulders on 8th St. between H Ave. and Oak Ave. to allow the water to drain off of the roadway, removed a side walk for the Chatty School, built a road to the Cache School’s Ag barn, hauled a load of sand for a Cache School playground, and hauled several loads of gravel to the Medicine Park Aquarium.
I met with Brad Burgess, ODOT Transportation Commissioner, Mitch Surrett and Jay Earp of ODOT and Jennifer Ellis, Medicine Park Trustee, concerning the one lane bridge in Medicine Park. The County agreed to do the repairs that are needed for it to remain safe and useable. The ODOT representatives will work with Ellis to secure a grant to refurbish the bridge.