AP NEWS

County set to pave over 27 miles of gravel roads

May 23, 2019

Allen County is investing just over $2 million this year to continue upgrading its gravel roads to asphalt.

The new surfaces will cover about 27 miles of road by the end of the construction season : depending on weather and the availability of stone supplies, said Bill Hartman, county highway department director.

Over the next five years, about half of the county’s remaining 186 miles of gravel road could be hard-surfaced, according to county officials in a news release Wednesday.

The money will come from the county’s local income tax, the release said.

The roads chosen were tagged by a study by GAI Consultants, Fort Wayne, based on factors including proximity to other paved roads, an existing 20-foot-wide stone pavement of the road and a minimum of two houses per mile along the road.

Among roads chosen for the most extensive projects are Flatrock Road with 2.56 miles of paving, Doyle Road, with 2.5 miles, Killian Road with 1.92 miles and McDuffee Road with 1.79 miles.

Previously started projects on Boger and Prine roads will be finished and two projects on Ehle Road will be sealed this year.

Hartman said those improvements will come at a cost of 2 million.

Hard-surfaced roads are typically easier to drive and cost less to maintain in the long run, especially as traffic counts increase, he said. 

Converting a road from gravel to asphalt is a multi-step process that typically involves installing a denser gravel base first, Hartman said. Some processes also require temperatures above 65 degrees to complete, he added.

“It’s not guaranteed we get everything (finished) this year,” Hartman said. “We have stone being sent out to some of the sites next week.”

rsalter@jg.net

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