A public hearing was held at the Sampson County Board of Commissioners meeting last week on the proposed expenditure of 2009-10 and 2010-11 secondary roads construction funds in Sampson. Local N.C. Department of Transportation representatives reviewed the proposed roads, the list of priority unpaved roads and which would be receiving attention.
State law mandates DOT study all state-maintained unpaved roads to determine the mileage for each county. Monetary allocation for secondary roads is based on the department’s proportion of unpaved roads as compared to the miles statewide. Each county’s total allocation is determined by dividing the total allocation by the statewide mileage, then multiplying it by the number of miles in each county.
Secondary road construction funds are allocated based on the amount of revenue generated by the gasoline tax.
“Based on an unpaved mileage of approximately 18 miles in Sampson County, compared to unpaved miles statewide, we estimate an allocation of $2,150,000 will be approved by the Board of Transportation for the fiscal year 2010-11. The allocation for fiscal year 2009-10 funding is $842,196,” DOT district engineer Lin Reynolds told commissioners.
The priority lists were updated last year, based on priority paving rating systems utilizing two different paving priorities in each county, one for rural roads and one for residential/subdivision roads. The priority roads, Reynolds said, were submitted “in compliance with our board’s directives, while addressing the overall county needs.”
The funding amounts used are estimates, and “subject to variations due to inflation, cost of materials, equipment rate changes” and other factors, officials said.
According to the proposal, for 2010-11, workers will grade, drain, base and pave approximately 0.6 mile of Ballance Boulevard, from Mt. Gilead Church Road to a dead end.
A paved road improvement project on SR 1004 (Union School Road/Needmore Road) that included partial funding in 2009-10 will also be completed with this year’s allocation.
Funding of $363,516 was set aside in 2009-10 to resurface 0.6 mile of Union School Road from U.S. 421 to River Road, as well as widen and resurface about 7 miles of Union School/Needmore from Powell Road to Wilmington Road. Funding for the project is set to be completed with another $877,034 in 2010-11.
Other paved road improvement projects for 2010-11 will include widening and resurfacing about 0.33 miles of Wilmington Road, from Needmore Road to N.C. 24. According to DOT, Pine Ridge Road will also be widened and resurfaced, along with pipe replacements, from N.C. 403 to the Duplin County line.
There has been $893,483 allocated in partial funding for the project, with the total project cost around $1.33 million.
Reynolds also reviewed secondary roads funding for 2009-10. In addition to funding work on SR 1004, other funding of the total $842,196 allocation has been expended to grade, drain, base and pave approximately 1.4 miles of Captain Westbrook, from U.S. 13 to Old Goldsboro Road, and approximately 0.4 mile of Ball Park Road, from Mt. Elam Church Road to Straw Pond School Road.
Captain Westbrook Road and Ball Park Road are each in the top 10 list of unpaved roads in the county, as is Ballance Boulevard. Commissioner Jarvis McLamb asked about Stanley Hall Road and Keith Road.
Reynolds said there was one property owner on Stanley Hall Road who would not sign to give right of way to the state, impeding any paving project there. “If he’s not interested, it stays on the list to not be paved,” said Reynolds.
Keith Road was just outside Sampson’s list of top 10 roads to pave, said Reynolds, who said he hoped to get to Keith Road as soon as possible.
“We have a pretty aggressive program trying to pave as many roads as we can,” he attested.
In the event right-of-way for any of the proposals is not available or environmental permits cannot be obtained, “it is our plan to proceed with the next priority in line until right of way is acquired and funds allocated are expended,” Reynolds added.
Other roads on the unpaved list include Fleet Naylor, Johnny, Darden, Jasper and Clinton Substation (each in the top 10), as well as Wellons, Burke, Bud, Olle D., Brad, Dobbersville, Crow Best, Isaham, Microwave Tower, Gilbert, Ottis, Old Cotton Gin and Devanes Farm.
County commissioners, following the public hearing, adopted a resolution approving the proposed expenditures to improve secondary road improvements. Board chairman Jefferson Strickland said he was happy to see the estimated secondary road allocation more than double.
“Last year was tough,” said Reynolds, citing budget constraints.
“I think we can be pleased with the (allocation) amount moving up,” added Strickland.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 121, or by email at email@example.com.