Washington County Commission approves $1.87M in road work

MARIETTA — Projects to install guardrail on Veto Road and repave several miles of Archer’s Fork Road were approved by Washington County Commissioners at their regular weekly business meeting Thursday morning, for about $1,870,000, but the county won’t bear the entire expense.

County engineer Roger Wright said both projects will receive federal and state assistance to reduce the impact on county finances.

The work on Veto Road — also known as County Road 3 — involves replacement of several sections of guardrail, totaling about 16,000 feet. Commissioners noted that the lowest of three bids on the project, from PDK Construction of Pomeroy, still came in about $30,000 over the estimate. Doing some quick math, commissioner Rick Walters said the project came out to about $130,000 a mile.

Wright said the guardrail project has been in the works for a while. Veto Road, which connects state routes 7 and 339, a distance of just over seven miles, was repaved this year, Wright said.

“Basically, what we have is that the guardrail criteria have changed. The existing guardrail, which has gotten a little low, will be taken down and new guardrail will be built to the new standards,” he said.

Because Veto Road is classified as a federal aid route, 80 percent of the cost will be paid by the federal government, Wright said, reducing the net cost to the county to about $77,000.

Archer’s Fork Road, also known as County Road 14, will be repaved in its entire 7.3-mile length from Ohio 26 to Ohio 7, Wright said, and the county also will receive some financial assistance with the $1.483 million cost.

Archer’s Fork Road is eligible for Ohio Public Works program help, he said. A grant of $400,000 is available, along with a no-interest loan of $400,000, so the immediate cost to the county will be $683,275, with the loan repayable over 10 years at an average of $40,000 a year.

Wright said both projects have been planned for several years, but the funding process requires some patience. The Archer’s Fork project will also be delayed because storm and flooding damage in February resulted in two landslips which are under consideration for FEMA assistance — a process worth waiting for because the federal and state governments could absorb up to 100 percent of the repair costs.

Before the disastrous landslips occurred in February, the Archer’s Fork project was slated for completion this year, Wright said.

“The plan originally was to pave it starting in July or August and complete it by November, but with the landslips, everything has been delayed while we’re waiting to hear from FEMA,” he said. “I don’t foresee that contract going ahead until spring.”

Archer’s Fork has already seen two bridge replacements over the past several years.

The pavement contract has been awarded to Shelly Company, which has numerous locations in Ohio. Wright said the county will try a method used elsewhere with proven results called motor paving, a type of cold-mix asphalt that uses larger rock to apply a thicker, more flexible road surface less vulnerable to cracking under the stress of roadbed movement common in this area, especially on roads adjacent to creeks.