May 25, 2016

Commission talks more road repairs

By Kate Johnson

The Mercer County Commission made the decision to actively pursue another road project to do County Road 13.
The County Commission approved its most recent County 37 agreement which has already gone out on bids, with plans for paving to begin in September of this year. Ken Miller, Mercer County road superintendent, presented the commission with road updates.
Miller brought up a prior conversation about County Road 13 which would consist of a much-needed overlay. The discussion led to whether it would be in the county’s best interest to do it this year or next.
Miller informed the commission that, through a discussion with Interstate Engineering, that he was told it would be in the county’s best interest to use up the $1.5 million, using it either for County Road 13 or to come up with a project with the federal funding.
With federal funding left over from another project, Miller begged the question to the commission of whether using up those funds to do County 13 was something they wanted to do. Commissioner Wes Gunsch was the first to share his opinion, believing County 13 is something they should go after if the funds were there.
“I guess my feelings on that is, if we could work it out somehow, to do [County] 13 this year because we have batch plants here and the bidding has come in pretty good,” says Gunsch.
Gunsch also mentioned County Road 19 needs an overlay in the near future.
Miller asked the room what everyone’s feelings were on using up the federal funding and whether it was something they wanted to bid and achieve this year. The commission was also informed that, if they were to chase the task of undertaking County Road 13 this year, they would need to get going as soon as possible. The only major hurdle they would have to get through would be the environmental checklist, which would take 45 days. Then, with the Department of Transportation bid openings, everything would have to be in place 10 weeks before bid opening.
They were advised that, if they wanted to do something, they would need to get someone started on developing a design. The positive side of considering County 13 is that there are construction contractors active in the area right now.

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