Jessamine County Fiscal Court has approved two recommendations by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Highway Department for the use of state-allotted funds of more than $450,000 to improve Ashgrove Pike and Little Hickman Road in fiscal year 2013.
“These are recommendations that come from our engineer who drives around, knows the road’s conditions, knows the traffic volume that’s carried on it and knows the last time it’s been resurfaced,” said Brett Blair, a representative of the cabinet’s District 7 office. “We also have a central maintenance group out of Frankfort that comes out and rates these roads.”
The two rural roads in the county highlighted in Blair’s recommendation have both been classified as in “poor” condition, which is the lowest grade. The grade identifies the road as in serious need of bituminous resurfacing, a sealing coat to rejuvenate asphalt.
The funds will come from the state’s Rural Secondary Program and a flex account, which is 20 percent of the state’s calculated allotment.
Rural secondary roads’ primary function are as a farm-to-market route, Blair said. For example, Brannon Road used to be classified as a rural secondary route until heavier traffic between Nicholasville Road and Harrodsburg Road bumped it up in status to state secondary.
Jessamine County has a total of 59.029 rural secondary miles, which is down from FY12, Blair said.
That lower mile number is a good thing since it also drops the estimated resurfacing cycle down for the county from 13-20 years to 10-15 years, he said. This means it could take 15 years with the regular allotments, or only 10 years with the use of flex funds, to resurface all of the county’s rural secondary roadways.
Blair said that 10-15 years is on par with the state’s recommended amount of time between resurfacing of rural roads.
In FY13, Jessamine County is allotted $367,748, which can only be spent on rural roads, Blair said.
But there is also $170,799 in the flex account, which can be spend on rural or county roads — a total of $538,547 in FY13 for improvements.
The first recommendation for the FY13 resurfacing project is Ky. 1981, better known as Ashgrove Pike, and is estimated to cost $367,000.
The last resurfacing of the 4.246 miles from U.S. 27 to Ky. 1974 was done in 1997. This initial cost will eat up nearly all of the project allotments but does not include the flex fund.
The flex account can be spent at the fiscal court’s discretion for roadway improvements, but Blair recommended the fiscal court resurface the 1.364-mile stretch of Ky. 1268 or Little Hickman Road.
The resurfacing will go from Ky. 39 to Brumfield Lane and was last resurfaced in 1996. Other work was done on Little Hickman Road from Sugar Creek Pike in FY11.
The cost of this resurfacing will come out of the flex funds available, $170,799, but Blair said he expects it to be only half of that.
“We’re basically coming to (the fiscal court) and saying this is what we need, $90,000, and the rest can be used on county roads,” Blair said. “But it’s up to you; the governor gave (the flex fund) up to the judge and his fiscal court.”
Jessamine County Judge-Executive Neal Cassity signed the agreement April 3 to move forward with the Ashgrove project and spend $90,000 on Little Hickman Road with an addendum to use the leftover flex money on county roads in need of bituminous resurfacing.
Those county roads have not yet been determined by the fiscal court.