Roads in Sampson County are expected to see significant upgrades in the coming year with assistance from $1.75 million in estimated N.C. Department of Transportation secondary road construction funds through June 2013.
Keith Eason, maintenance engineer for DOT, spoke to the funding at a recent Sampson County Board of Commissioners meeting. A public hearing was held regarding the expenditure of secondary roads construction funding, during which no one spoke. Eason detailed the program, and reviewed the Sampson County roads proposed to receive attention in the 2012-13 cycle.
The board subsequently adopted a resolution approving the proposed expenditures.
N.C. General Statute mandates that the department, before July 1 every year, conduct a study of all state-maintained unpaved roads in order to determine the mileage for each county and the total across the state, with allocation of secondary roads funding based upon the proportion of unpaved roads as compared to the miles statewide. Each county’s allocation is determined by dividing the total allocation by the statewide mileage times the number of miles in each county.
Secondary roads construction allocations are based upon the amount of revenue generated by the gasoline tax.
“Based on an unpaved mileage of approximately 14 miles in Sampson County, compared to unpaved miles statewide,” said Eason, “we estimate an allocation of $1,750,000 should be approved by the Board of Transportation for fiscal year 2012-2013.”
The allocation has decreased incrementally in the past couple years as unpaved roads received asphalt, including Jimmy, Eura Tart, Cpt. Westbrook, Ballpark and Old Cotton Gin roads. The allocation has come down from figures the past two fiscal years of $2.15 million based on 18 miles of unpaved roads for 2010-11 and $1,776,940 based on 16 unpaved miles for 2011-12.
One more unpaved road, Clinton Substation Road, is expected to be paved for 2012-13, while another — Keith Road — will receive partial funding.
Priority lists for the program were updated in 2009, and are based on a paving priority rating system that lists both rural roads and one for residential/subdivision roads. The board now requires a separate listing of roads for each county showing those that have been previously skipped over for paving because the right of way was not available. While those roads for which right of way is not currently available are not listed on either priority list, they can be reinstated to the lists as the right of way becomes available.
The amounts used in the cost of each of the priorities is an estimate and subject to variations due to inflation, cost of materials, equipment rate changes and other factors, Eason noted.
“In compliance with our board’s directives, while addressing the overall county needs, we submit the following proposals for the expenditure of estimated secondary road construction funds for Sampson County for the period through June 2013,” Eason said. “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.”
There is $150,000 allocated for unpaved road improvements and $1,574,000 for paved road improvements, with the remaining $20,000 for volunteer fire departments, rescue squads, road additions and contingencies.
The $150,000 in unpaved road improvements includes $100,000 to grade, drain, base and pave 0.4 mile of Clinton Substation Road from U.S. 701 to the dead end. Another $50,000 will be expended to pave 0.41 mile of Keith Road from N.C. 24 to the dead end. However, that is just partial funding of the $165,000 needed.
Among those paved roads receiving the brunt of the attention as part of the annual secondary road improvements are Strawpond Road, Easy Street and Wash McLamb Road, Church Road and Minnie Hall Road, all of which are on tap for widening, resurfacing and drainage improvements.
Under the program, $25,000 is allocated to widen, resurface and bring drainage improvements to 1.25 miles of Strawpond Road from U.S. 421 to Easy Street. The project was previously part of the 2011-12 program and still requires additional funds after the 2012-13 amount to complete the $200,000 project.
Easy Street and Wash McLamb Road is estimated to receive $160,000 toward ongoing improvements along a 6.2-mile stretch from SR 1477 to N.C. 55. The project was also included in the 2011-12 program, and still requires additional funding to meet its $992,376 total.
A nearly 10-mile stretch of Church Road will get the bulk of the attention, and more than half of the 2012-13 secondary roads funding, for 2012-13. A widening, resurfacing and drainage improvement project totaling $1.57 million will be completed with $968,000 in this year’s project plan to upgrade the road from U.S. 421 to U.S. 13.
Minnie Hall Road will receive $131,000 to begin making improvements to a 3.7-mile stretch from N.C. 242 to Spring Branch Road. The funding is just the first piece of the $600,000 needed to complete the project.
Roads set to get other work, including milling, full-depth patching and short overlays, include Hollandtown, Minnie-Hall, Nixon, Mount Carmel Church, Reeda Branch, Fann School, Elbow, Welcome School, Autry Mill, Coker Store, Carr Church, Loften and Rosin Hall. That work totals $100,000 for 2012-13.
Section improvements will be done at the following roads: Marion Amos, Chesters, Mitchell Loop, Honeycutt, Cooper, Hickory Grove, Carroll Store and Ernest Williams. That work totals $150,000.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.