Chip Seal

Todd Hieatt operates the oil sprayer as a county highway crew chip seals County Road 400S between 200 and 300E on Tuesday. The crew was putting down a second layer.

ANDERSON — Depending on the weather for the next few months, Madison County is hoping to repave and repair up to 97 miles of roads, about a tenth of the approximately 960 miles of road that the county is responsible for maintaining.

Scott Harless, superintendent of the Madison County Highway Department, said the hope is to spend $2 million on repaving.

He explained the county is placing a double layer of chip and seal on up to 85 miles of roads.

In addition, the county spent $1.8 million in matching state Community Crossing funds to repave 12 miles.

“It’s money from the gas tax,” Harless said of the $2 million allocated for paving work. “The amount has been the same for the past few years, but the state is projecting a 15% reduction next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Chip seal

David Cook gives a thumbs-up to the dump truck driver as a county highway crew chip seals Madison County Road 400 South between 200 East and 300 East on Tuesday.

Harless said whatever funds are not spent in 2020 will be rolled over into the 2021 repaving budget.

“Right now, we’re about a month behind,” he said. “We’re hiring some additional part-time workers to assist with the paving and mowing.”

Harless said the county implemented a rotation plan a decade ago to maintain the county roads.

“In another four years we should have repaved every rural road in the county,” he said. “Then it will just be maintaining what has already been done.”

Chip seal

Jim Elsworth operates the chip spreader as a county highway crew chip seals County Road 400S between 200 and 300E on Tuesday. Madison County is hoping to repave and repair up to 97 miles of roads this year.

County Engineer Joe Copeland said paving of the 12 miles of roads through the Community Crossings grant has been completed by E&B Paving.

He said the county is applying for another $1 million Community Crossings grant from the state.

He said a portion of those funds will be used to replace the bridge on County Road 425 East, north of County Road 600 North.

Bridge on 425 East

County Engineer Joe Copeland talks to local resident Robert Moreland at the bridge over Killbuck Creek on County Road 425 East in April 2019. The county plans to replace the bridge this year.

Copeland said the remaining funds will be used on repaving.

“With the contract paving, we try to do more of the heavily traveled roads in the county,” he said.

Copeland said the county is doing a federal aid bridge project for the bridge on County Road 200 East, north of Indiana 232.

The federal government will provide 80% of the funding.

The Madison County Commissioners approved a contract with United Consulting Engineers for the engineering of the deck replacement and obtaining the necessary right of way.

That contract was in the amount of $258,150.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.

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