Road resurfacing reduced in Howard
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – Based on half as much money being budgeted for road resurfacing in 2020 than 2019, the village board voted Monday, Dec. 9, to approve next year’s resurfacing projects.
Faced with the financial impact of future projects, such as the County VV interchange at State Highway 29 and the reconstruction of Lineville Road, and their effect to still have funds available for road resurfacing, board members last month approved the 2020 budget with $500,000 designated for resurfacing, compared to $1 million this year.
In addition to surfacing for the realignment of CoCo’s Run which took place this year, Geoff Farr, director of public works, said the 2020 resurfacing projects will include nearly 1,700 feet of Pinecrest Road south of Evergreen Avenue, where there is a section of rural road with narrow shoulders and no ditches.
“(The resurfacing of Pinecrest Road) will be a contentious one, because basically you’re widening shoulders, providing for that kind of bike-pedestrian accommodation that they don’t have with a curb-and-gutter roadway,” he said.
Farr said he doesn’t expect the village will be reconstructing the roadway in the next 20 years, “so that’s probably the best interim plan, but it will be a little difficult to implement, because it’s definitely going to upset some people with the ditching and widening of the road and shoulders.”
The largest section of road resurfacing for next year includes more than 2,500 feet of Hillcrest Heights between Woodale Avenue and Glendale Avenue.
“With our (resurfacing) program really being reduced in the next few years, that was one of the roads that’s really affecting a great deal people into all the subdivisions in that area,” Farr said. “We thought that was of value.”
Resurfacing nearly 700 feet of Hummingbird Drive in the south end of Howard, Farr said, will involve an old section of pavement with bad ride characteristics.
“That’s one of our older pavements,” he said. “It’s held up pretty well, but it’s time has come.”
When including $50,000 worth of crack seal/spray patch work, Farr reported the estimated cost for the 2020 resurfacing comes to $502,400.
Based on pavements in Howard reaching the end of their life cycle in about 25 years, Farr said approximately 4.4 miles of pavement should be replaced annually in the village to maintain the current pavement conditions.
He said the level of funding should be $1.7 million annually with the average pavement width being around 33 feet.
Future budget projections for resurfacing list $400,000 in 2021, no dollars in 2022, $1.4 million in 2023, $1.2 million in 2024 and no dollars in 2025.
“We might see a little bit of heartache in these few years coming up, but also as we talked about during the budget process, we see a time where after we get through this big capital slug of projects, then we can jump this back up to a $2 million (annual resurfacing) project and really kind of catch back up, if that’s possible,” Farr said. “We’ll definitely see some time where we can really improve the pavement.”
Though the village for a couple of years will “get behind a little bit” on road resurfacing projects, he said Howard is “still in good standing and that the village will catch up when we get these $2 million projects that we have slated for 2026-30.”
Farr said plans for roads recommended for resurfacing next year will be brought before the board in April to award bids.