LIMA — The Allen County Engineer’s Office unveiled a $2.8 million road program Tuesday aiming to repair nearly 20 combined miles of county and township roads.
The $2.8 million proposed costs represent a 32 percent increase in total cost. The county’s share of the cost is expected to be $923,119, up 6 percent from last year’s total of $871,821. Meanwhile, the townships are projected to spend a combined $1.79 million versus last year’s $1.2 million, an increase of 48 percent.
Allen County Engineer Brion Rhodes presented the 2022 road maintenance plan over lunch with the Board of Allen County Commissioners and trustees.
“We’re looking at a $2.8 million road program,” Rhodes said. “That covers the costs for both county and in-town work combined. We try to pool our work together to get a better price for our contractors for paving and chipping work.”
While the county and the township are each responsible for their own projects, Rhodes explained by combining materials and equipment the two entities can reduce costs. Everyone shares what they would like to see worked on and then they get priced together.
“By working together we can ensure that we get the best price, so we meet with the townships each and every year and develop a road program, and we just go out to bid for a lot of that work,” Rhodes said.
The 20 miles of road projected to be paved is up 34 percent from the nearly 15 miles last year, with the county expected to pave 10 miles, a 59 percent increase from a year ago. Townships plan for nine miles of paving work, a 10 percent increase from last year.
Rhodes also cautioned that these numbers were merely projections and could be adversely affected by the current volatility of gas prices. He remarked that if the price of gas triples, then there would be an adjustment to the proposed plan.
“We all have seen the increases of prices at the pump and that directly affects what we do in every aspect of dealing with asphalt whether you’re hauling it to the job or mining it out of the quarry,” Rhodes said. “Every facet of that process revolves around the price of asphalt and we don’t know what the price will be tomorrow or next month, but we do know by pulling all of our work together, we will have the best price.”
Reach Joe Gilroy at 567-242-0398 or @TLNJoeGilroy.