State road money for county down this year

Published 6:51 pm Monday, February 10, 2014

Money from the state to assist Warren County to complete road and bridge projects has gone down nearly $1 million to reflect work completed in 2013.

Funds for Warren County from the Office of State Aid Road Construction totaled $1,305,668 this year, according to an update Monday from county engineers to the Board of Supervisors. The level is down 42 percent from last year’s update.

The drop results from jobs completed last year that replaced county-maintained bridges on Fisher Ferry Road and  Bazinsky Road and applied new driving surfaces to parts of Culkin Road and Eagle Lake Shore Road. Collectively, the price tag on those four projects was $2,666,967.

This year’s funds roll over to finance nine projects on the drawing board and one, a resurfacing job along Fisher Ferry, under construction.

Ratings for parts of more than 300 roads maintained exclusively with county funds is ongoing, with “eight or nine roads” left to classify, said Brian Robbins of Stantec, the county’s engineering firm.

Once a full list is known, supervisors have budgeted $1,125,000 for routine paving. At today’s prices for asphalt, supervisors said, it’s enough to pave about 4.5 miles of roadway. Revenue-based taxes so far this fiscal year from Vicksburg’s four casinos was $768,501 through January, a scant $23,000 ahead of projections when county’s financial calendar started in October.

“We do get further and further behind on paving,” Board President Bill Lauderdale said.

In design phases for years are plans to replace small bridges inside the city, on Avenue D, Wood Street, and Baldwin Ferry Road. A reconstruction of Henry Lake Road, near Flowers, has the priciest cost estimate, at more than $600,000.

OSARC is a state-supported entity that assists counties to maintain roads and bridges and administers the Local System Bridge Program, which pays for replacing deficient bridges but leaves out those on municipal urban systems. Its funding formula for county assistance is based partly on population and,

It operates out of the Mississippi Department of Transportation offices in Jackson, but has its own staff and chief engineer.