Cape County road plan approved, with conditions

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

With a dozen easements still in question, Cape Girardeau County commissioners approved a paving plan Monday.

The work, which will cost an estimated $3,147,500, will cover 21 miles of county roads. More than half, 12 miles, will get layers of rock and asphalt called chip and seal. The remaining eight miles will be paved with traditional asphalt.

Now Larry Payne wants to make sure the plan is followed.

He called a special meeting of the County Road and Bridge Advisory Board at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Payne, the board's chairman, said the purpose of the meeting is "for reviewing the recommended program for 2008."

Most of the same roads were put out for bids last fall, but companies did not respond. Some said they did not do the type of work the county wanted. Other said they would not be able to complete work by the Dec. 15 deadline, certain that weather would disrupt progress.

On Monday, after reviewing a list of more than 20 miles of road slated for paving, commissioners again worried about timing.

Commissioner Jay Purcell convinced Associate Commissioner Larry Bock and Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones to set Thursday as the deadline for having a new request for bids.

The road work will be paid for by a half-cent sales tax approved by voters in August 2006. The tax also funds law enforcement projects.

In order to save money, the County Road and Bridge Advisory Board suggested using the chip and seal method on nearly 12 miles of road.

Payne said chip and seal is not a permanent road surface but will reduce dust and provide a base for future paving. It tends to be more flexible in an unstable environment, he said. Chip and seal costs $50,000 to $60,000 a mile while asphalt costs $120,000 to $125,000 a mile.

The areas slated for this type of paving are sections of County Roads 316, 422, 425, 439, 440, 273, 380 and 522 and will cost an estimated $794,500.

Commissioners also approved spending up to $1,720,500 for traditional asphalt paving on County Roads 324, 327, 419, 607, 244, 512, 411, 435 and 436, more than eight miles of road. Bock convinced the other commissioners to add County Road 412 to the list, nearly three-fourths of a mile of paving that will cost an estimated $151,000.

Those roads already have some asphalt paving.

The commissioners also agreed to spend $1,129,500 for grading 13 of the roads before paving.

Purcell said the projects would only be approved "provided those easements are signed."

County highway administrator Scott Bechtold said the bid will be based on Class C rock rather than the original request for proposal's Class A specification. He said Class A rock is not readily available and Class C stone "is acceptable and does a good job."

The timeline for getting the work done will be decided at the commissioner's Thursday meeting, Bechtold said.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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