Our Coltrane road project, like all the rest of our large county road and bridge projects require capitol funds from different revenue sources. Our local source of funding comes in the form of sales and property tax revenue given directly to the county road districts. Additional county road funding is available from state and federal grants programs. One source of federal funds is the ACOG-STP program where the county recently applied for 7.5 million dollars for the Coltrane road project and scored 28 of a needed 32 points for funding this year.
At our last board of commissioners meeting I was honored to be selected to begin representing the county and all our projects at future ACOG board meetings, including the ITTC. Given this new responsibility I plan to continue and pursue this source of project funding as a priority. To that end I have since met with the ACOG ITTC administrators to discuss the application process in greater detail as we will need to continue to pursue this funding source next year to complete this project.
The current project cost estimate has now escalated to 10 million dollars and continues to increase on average of 2.5% a year. This is because when the county takes state funds, like CIRB, we are forced to use additional state-imposed regulations that are increasing the cost of the overall project, far in excess of what was originally envisioned, or necessary. Because of these self-imposed state requirements the 2.5 million dollars of state CIRB funds earmarked for this project falls way short of meeting those requirements by 7.5 million dollars.
Thinking about it, this seems like a very high cost. Consider that with an additional 10 million dollars our county could overlay 50 miles of roadway or fix an additional 30 to 40 bridges if we were not bound by the myriad of our state’s self-imposed transportation engineering, construction, and contracting requirements. But for now, our transportation projects are bound by these most inefficient and ineffective state program management policies.
Both as a county and as a road district we are still moving forward fully focused on improving our county’s roads and bridges using all resources available. To that end, I do look forward to hearing from each of you on your thoughts and ideas in this area.
Until next time, be safe out there on our county roads and bridges.
Logan County, District 1
Work: 405 282-3581