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Chambers details road work

LaFAYETTE — At the Chambers County Commission meeting Monday night, Assistant County Engineer Daniel Lundy updated commissioners on the Striping and Marking Plan that was adopted with the 2018 budget.

With a tight focus on staying within budget, the county plans to delineate 73.5 miles of County Roads by the end of the summer, according to County Engineer Josh Harvill.  Of the 73.5 miles, 5.3 miles have recently been resurfaced. The portions of roads to be delineated are on County Roads 9, 16, 33, 34, 48, 62, 123, 164, 195, 196, 216, 237, 241, 258, 269, 279, 388, 389, 446 and 500, for a total investment of approximately $81,000

“Some of the county roads have never even had a stripe on them since the 50’s, but from our standpoint, where we see the most accidents come from is when people are driving at night and aren’t familiar with the roadway,” Harvill said. “We want to try to delineate as many as we can, but we realize we have a budget and can’t do them all.”

The actual lining of the roads uses one of three methods. These methods include raised pavement markers, known by most as the small reflective pucks that line roads, at approximately $770 per mile, Yellow Center Line Paint at approximately $1,040 per mile and a combination of both at approximately $1,810 per mile, according to Harvill.

Lundy discussed another method with the council that this project will not use, and that is thermoplastic paint. The highway departments reasoning for not using the heavier-duty method is the lack of benefits compared to cost. Although the cost can be up to four to five times more than standard paint, the thermoplastic only lasts two to three times longer.

“In our minds, when we are doing a federal project where there is a very large investment with federal and county money, we may go out there and invest additional dollars to put that thermoplastic down and not have to do anything with it in the next few years,” Harvill said. “With it being only county funds, not being able to match it with federal dollars, we choose to just do paint, strictly due to the funding nature of it.”

Harvill said that road-lining will begin either this week or next, all depending on the weather. Once the project gets underway, he said the department’s goal is to be done before the end of August.