County commission approves final list of roads to be paved

Friday, June 22, 2007

By the end of next year, 35 miles of Cape Girardeau County gravel roads will have a new hard surface, the Cape Girardeau County Commission decided Thursday.

The list of roads, which has been slightly revised since the County Road and Bridge Advisory Board submitted its initial proposal in May, includes 6.15 miles for asphalt paving and 10 miles for chip-and-seal paving this year. The list for 2008, which covers 17.3 miles, does not indicate which paving method will be used, and commissioners will add two more miles in coming months. In addition, 2.25 miles of County Road 222 in southern Cape Girardeau County will be given a new asphalt overlay.

"We have got to do the first part quickly" to show voters they are getting good value for the sales tax that has been in effect since Jan. 1, Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones said.

The extensive workload exceeds the ability of the County Highway Department to prepare roads for paving, department director Scottt Bechtold told the commissioners, so much of the preparation work for paving in 2008 will be done under contract, the first time the county has used contractors for such work. Commissioners directed DawnRae Clark, an engineer hired to assist the road advisory board, to complete the bid specifications quickly in order to advertise the work.

The paving program leans more heavily toward chip-and-seal paving this year because it is a cheaper method that allows more roads to be paved while the county slowly builds the road fund with the new tax. The tax is expected to bring in more than $6 million a year, but this year's revenue will be lower -- about $4.7 million -- because of the lag between collection at the retail level and receipt by the county.

Still, Jones said, "people are going to see some positive results."

The county requires property owners along roads proposed for paving to sign easements giving 30 feet of right-of-way from the center of the road. Most of the roads approved Thursday have complete easement packages, but a few set for 2008 are lacking one or two signatures, Bechtold said.

Ken Evans, vice chairman of the advisory board, said he expects a large number of county residents to sign easements once they see progress on roads near their homes. "Hopefully there will be an influx of people to the highway office," he said.

The list for 2008 isn't complete, Jones noted, because a preliminary list reviewed earlier in the week included duplications with this year's roads. When he directed Bechtold to find the additional miles, Evans said he didn't expect any difficulties identifying the roads.

"We will get you three, five, 11, 20 miles to pave," he said. "We won't run out of roads."

335-6611, extension 126

On Thursday the Cape Girardeau County Commission approved a final list of roads for paving this year and in 2008 using either asphalt or a chip-and-seal paving method.

Roads slated for asphalt paving this year include:

* County Road 244/Rabbit Lane: 0.75 miles.

* County Road 271: 1.5 miles.

* County Road 318: 1 mile.

* County Road 361, 364 and 365: 1.25 miles.

* County Road 381: 0.85 miles.

* County Road 450: 0.8 miles.

Chip-and-seal roads for this year include:

* County Road 273: 1.35 miles.

* County Road 316: 1.05 miles.

* County Road 380: 1.35 miles.

* County Road 419: 1.25 miles.

* County Road 439: 1.35 miles.

* County Road 440: 1.85 miles.

* County Road 522: 0.55 miles.

* County Road 607: 1.25 miles.

Paving projects for 2008 include:

* County Road 250: 1.8 miles.

* County Road 324, 327: 0.85 miles.

* County Road 361: 2.9 miles.

* County Road 363: 0.8 miles.

* County Road 411: 0.7 miles.

* County Road 412: 0.65 miles.

* County Road 422: 3.3 miles.

* County Road 425: 1.15 miles.

* County Road 436: 2.1 miles.

* County Road 451: 1.0 miles.

* County Road 512: 0.5 miles.

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