County expects to pave eight roads

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Revenue from local casinos to Warren County is running ahead of last year, but it’ll be enough to resurface only eight of the county’s worst-rated roads in the coming year, officials said Monday.

New layers of asphalt along parts of Bell Bottom Road, Cattlin Road, Logue Circle, Shadow Wood Drive, Dana Road, Tiffintown Road, Estelle Drive and Redbud Road would cost $1,055,760, up from the $1.035 million budgeted this year for routine road surface improvements. A 1.4-mile stretch of China Grove Road, rated fifth-worst among major roads and feeders, is eyed for major reconstruction using block grant money from the Mississippi Development Authority, with a local match of $299,445.

In fiscal 2012 through April, the county has collected $1,447,576 from Vicksburg’s five casinos, a revenue stream Warren County uses nearly exclusively for routine road paving. That’s 8.95 percent more than this time last year, County Administrator John Smith said.

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Still, county engineers contend the costs for the best asphalt surfaces outpace their ability to include two longer sections of roadway, along Gowall Road for 1.2 miles and about a half-mile of Mississippi 3 in Redwood, due to cost. They’re estimated at $257,800 and $102,200, respectively, and county engineer John McKee recommended they be cut from this year’s paving.

“If you pick up Estelle and Redbud,” he told county supervisors Monday, “it’ll put us over $1 million, if we can afford that.” New surfaces on the two south Warren County roads were estimated on the ratings report at $76,400 and $61,560, respectively.

Since the late 1980s, roads have been rated on a 100-point scale using average daily traffic load and the degree of buckling or cracking since the last report. Minor improvements during a given year, such as patching a pothole, can improve a rating. The last report was compiled in May 2010, with 134 roads evaluated that year.

This year’s list is back to a fuller report, with 371 segments covered and separated into major thoroughfares and smaller subdivision streets.

On Monday, McKee reiterated a recent suggestion that the county go back to gravel or use DBST, a thinner surface than full asphalt, on some of the county’s worst roads.

“It’s a viable solution to keep costs down,” he said.

Three roads rated in the 40s on this year’s report, fewer than on the 2010 list, which had 19 roads classified as such. Of 19 roads that rated in the 40s in 2010, six were paved that year. Logue Circle and Bell Bottom Road, which were 1-2 on the 2010 list, were rated third and first on this year’s list, respectively, with Cattlin Road north of Redwood rated second-worst.

Warren County was eligible for $2.1 million in road and bridge repairs from the Office of State Aid Road Construction for 2012, 41 percent more than last year. Much of the money will roll over to pay for design of 12 projects already scheduled and two under construction — a new bridge on Bazinsky Road and resurfacing on Bovina Cutoff Road.