County road program nears $8 million

Elkhart Truth photo/Sam Householder Road closed sign

GOSHEN — The county’s bill for the summer road maintenance program inched closer to $8 million after some additional paving and sealing was approved Tuesday.

The Elkhart County Commissioners voted on a $1 million appropriation to address seven more areas of road, many in subdivisions. The Economic Development Income Tax money will go toward work like chip sealing, reconstruction and surface milling and filling.

Transportation Manager Charlie McKenzie said they’re areas that emerged as priorities over the winter and spring.

“Basically they’re small areas that weren’t large enough to get into the paving program, but as we see a surplus of funds come in, we’ll try to catch up on those areas,” he said.

The cost of the extra work is estimated to be $275,000. The $1 million also helps make up the difference between the amount of money that was directed to the road program overall and what the actual costs are.

He told the commissioners that the program is done with chip sealing and addressing “horse troughs,” which cost a combined $1.7 million. Paving, striping and crack sealing are still in progress, for a combined cost of nearly $5.4 million.

“Right now we’re about $660,000 short to complete what we have scheduled for this year, when you compare the actual bids received to the currently allocated funds,” he said. “I polled the (county) council at the last meeting for this, and generally it was a positive reception.”

Commissioner Mike Yoder observed that the extra appropriation pushes the cost of the program close to $8 million. 

“It’s nice to be able to be able to do that,” added Commissioner Suzie Weirick.

The paving program itself was awarded in spring to Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc., whose $4.6 million offer was the lowest of four bids. The list included more than 34 miles of roadway, which are scheduled to be finished in mid-October.

The more than 133 miles of chip sealing accounts for another $1.3 million of the total cost.

The seven areas added to the maintenance program include C.R. 17, from C.R. 28 to C.R. 32; C.R. 36 from C.R. 43 to East County Line Road; C.R. 2 and C.R. 23; and C.R. 29 from S.R. 120 to the railroad crossing. It also includes the Crestview, Eagle Ridge and Decamp Gardens subdivisions.

(1) comment


Surplus of funds?? $600,000 short fall? Appropriation after appropriation! Do these people know how to budget?? Yesterday 35K! The math in the article does not even add up. Appears that costs were used for different things twice. And all the commissioner could say "It's nice to be able to do that", not how or why this short fall happened. Pay attention voters!!!

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