On June 30, county government closed its fiscal year. It was a clear reminder that we are halfway through 2011. In light of that, it seems timely to review the progress we have made in District 1.
In January, our first major project was to repave one mile of Simmons Road between Bryant and Broadway. The new asphalt offers motorists and emergency responders from Oak Cliff Fire Station a safer, smoother route.
In March, we installed two more outdoor warning devices in rural areas of District 1. These were purchased with grant funds obtained through the Rural Economic Action Program (REAP). A total of ten are now operational throughout the county, all funded through the same program.
In April, also with REAP funding, we added an additional layer of asphalt to Pine Street from Industrial to Prairie Grove Rd. We were approved for funding to apply safety striping to the road as well. ODOT recently conducted a bid letting for the striping, and we are waiting to hear back about the start date for the project. Striping for Simmons Rd. and various roadways in District 2 were also included in this letting.
April saw a one mile paving improvement on Kelly Ave. between Charter Oak Rd. and Simpson. This project was a cooperative effort between District 1 and a developer. The county prepared the road base and paid for a portion of the asphalt. The developer provided paving service and covered the majority of costs.
In May, construction began on two bridges, one on Council Rd. over Cottonwood Creek and the other on Simpson over Spring Creek. The 100 year-old bridge on Council has been replaced by a new 107.5′ double-lane concrete structure which allows vehicles to cross simultaneously and provides emergency responders a more direct route to surrounding areas.
Work continues on the new 152′ bridge on Simpson Road just west of Broadway. The old bridge, constructed in 1920, was positioned near a railroad crossing where accidents have occurred. Approaches to the new bridge will be raised, enhancing visibility for motorists as they near the crossing. K&R Builders are currently working on this project.
In May we also met with ODOT to review plans for paving Coltrane Road. This project, from Waterloo Road to Seward Road, will be done in phases. Environmental clearance procedures are underway and should be completed this fall. After that, right-of-way acquisition can begin.
In early July, Atlas Paving began preparing Western Avenue for resurfacing from Waterloo Rd. to 1/2 mile north of Simpson. Workers are patching and readying the road base for 3 1/2 miles of asphalt.
This month District 1 workers have also been “reclaiming” Meridian Road north of Waterloo. Employees have been removing heavy overgrowth from right-of-way and reshaping the road to improve drainage. Through FEMA, we obtained hazard mitigation funds for making long term improvements to areas of Meridian which are subject to flooding. Workers have been applying geotexile to the roadway to prevent erosion.
As you can see, much of the funding for these projects came through state and federal programs. We worked to obtain the means for these 6.5 miles of paving and infrastructure improvements and are grateful for the dedicated employees and transportation officials who helped make it happen. These coordinated efforts, not only in District 1, but in other commission districts as well, are moving us forward in improving Logan County roads and bridges.