MURRAY – During a county government work session last week, Calloway County Judge-Executive Kenny Imes and the magistrates were informed that they would be getting more money for road improvements than they were originally told, giving them the ability to resurface about 13 miles instead of the roughly 8.7 miles reported two weeks ago.
Michael Oliver, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s section supervisor for Calloway, Marshall and Trigg counties, presented his rural secondary road recommendations to the fiscal court at its monthly meeting on March 17. At that meeting, he said Calloway County should have a $1,136,998 balance for road improvements, but last Friday, Oliver corrected the record to say the balance was now projected to be $1,847,518. That’s an increased projection of about 62.49%.
“(At the last fiscal court meeting), I passed out the new, updated rural secondary road recommendations,” Oliver said. “We presented a list, and I apologize that it was not correct, but it was not correct in a good way. I actually (reported to several fiscal courts), and Calloway County was last – you were Wednesday (March 17). The very next day, when I came to work, I had an email from Frankfort that said that the numbers had been adjusted and that we needed to go through and check and make sure that we presented the right numbers. In all of my counties, the numbers went up, sometimes substantially, and Calloway County was one of them that substantially went up. So that being the case, I went through, and you’ll notice recommendation No. 3, which is the flex funds, it is now $403,141.”
Oliver had originally been told Calloway’s flex funds would be $271,909, so that marked a significant increase of approximately 48.26%.
“I don’t know where all this money came from, and I guess I don’t care in one way,” Oliver said, “But I did call Frankfort twice to double check and ensure that these numbers are correct, and they assured me that, yes, statewide everybody’s getting more money this year.”
Oliver originally issued seven recommended road expenditures, but amended that list to eight after he learned about the extra money and some re-adjusted cost estimates. With those changes, the total cost of the road projects increased from $1,359,447 to $1,588,134, an adjustment of approximately 16.82%.
Oliver said recommendations No. 4, 5 and 6 on his list included the same mile points he originally reported, but the dollar figures have been adjusted downward because the cost estimates have changed. Those recommendations are:
• spending $106,548 (down from $118,962) on asphalt resurfacing for 1.024 miles of KY 280/Pottertown Road from MP 7.060 (Sauger Lane) to MP 28.084 (Lakeway Drive)
• spending $326,600 (down from $359,160) on asphalt resurfacing for 3.959 miles of KY 1346 (Roosevelt Road) from MP 3.119 (Curd Cemetery Road) to MP 7.078 (KY 80)
• spending $354,768 (down from $336,967) on resurfacing 3.805 miles of KY 464 (West Fork Road) from MP 7.445 (KY 783) to MP 11.250 (US 641).
“Recommendations No. 4, 5 and 6 are the same mile points, but I just tightened up the estimate a little bit and got a firmer number,” Oliver said. “So the mile points on those three roads did not change, it’s just the dollar amounts changed a little bit. Due to some recent bids, we’ve seen that the prices are going to be a little bit cheaper this year, for some reason.
“Due to the increase in funding, I was able to add another 4 1/2 miles, so we added KY 1836, which is Hammond Road, from Hughes Road to KY 464 for a total of 2.106 miles (at a cost of $187,983). And then we added Van Cleave Road/KY1483 from KY 94 to KY 80, and that’s another 2.183 miles for a total of $209,094.”
According to the recommendations list, the asphalt resurfacing on KY 1836/Hammond Road will be from MP 5.273 at Hughes Road to MP 7.379 at KY 464. The work on KY 1483/Van Cleave Road will be from MP 0 at KY 94 to MP 2.183 at KY 80.
“It was 8.788 miles of resurfacing, but that brings our total up to 13.077 miles,” Oliver said.
Although the cost of the 13 miles of resurfacing is estimated at $1,588,134, Oliver noted that since the adjusted balance for improvements is $1,847,518, that still leaves $259,384 for other needed improvements if Imes or the four magistrates had any ideas.
“I’ve still got some money left if there are any rural secondary roads or anything that you all are aware of in your districts that are pretty bad,” he said. “I’ve still got room to add another mile-and-a-half to 2 miles.”
Doug Taylor, KYTC’s field representative in this area for the Department for Rural and Municipal Aid, addressed the increased projections for the rural secondary road funds.
“All of this is based on projections, and if you think about April, May and June, the small consumption of motor fuels that took place for those three months last year – we don’t anticipate that this year,” he said. “I think these projections are based on a strong economic recovery and people traveling and burning motor fuels.”
Oliver also said that the state highway engineer had been in contact with school districts about turn lane needs around the state.
“In Calloway County, we’ve identified Southwest (Calloway Elementary) on Wiswell Road,” he said. “We’re going to do a left turn lane and then we’re also going to do a drop lane, so we’re going to widen that road. I’ve got guys out surveying it right now to see how much right-of-way (there is). All the utilities are on the school side, of course, so on the other side of the road, we’re going to have to purchase probably 15 feet of right-of-way to make this happen over about a 500-600-foot-long section. I don’t think the property owner will be upset because it looks like property he’s not using right now anyway. Frankfort wants us to do that when school’s out, so that will be happening here pretty soon.”
In an email response to a follow-up question from the Ledger & Times, Oliver said the district had been instructed by Frankfort to submit “low cost safety improvements” for schools.
“The focus was to be on turn lanes or school signals,” Oliver explained. “Once the district complied a list of known projects and needs along with estimates in District One, Frankfort evaluated the list and replied back with the projects that would be funded. There are also several schools (some in Calloway) that will be getting new signals, along with the turn lane at Southwest Elementary.”