By RORYE O’CONNOR
Jefferson County Engineer Brandon Simmons is planning the annual county highway tour for Jefferson County Board members.
The day-long annual event shows board members what has been accomplished with county roads in the last year and what is to come in the next year or so, Simmons said.
“We’re going to go see all the bridges we did this year, which includes the bridge on Denker Road in Webber Township, the Spring Garden Lane bridge in Dodds Township and the Malecki Road bridge,” he said.
In addition, the highway tour will make a stop at the county pug mill and Log Cabin Lane, where one phase of an overlay project was completed in 2012 and another will take place this year, Simmons said.
“We cover pretty much the entire county, and it takes a full day,” Simmons said. “It allows the board to see the type of bridges we need to fix, a few of sort of the typical type. It helps them to see what we need to fix and why. Since this is a new county board and a lot of them are new on the Highway Committee, this will show them what the final project looks like from previous years. It gives them a nice overlook of what we do.”
The county highway tour is planned for March 9. County board members and township road commissioners are invited to ride along. Simmons said the tour will likely use a Jefferson County Justice Center transport van as it has in the past to make the county tour.
The tour will travel to the sites of several future projects, including the bridge projects planned to be completed this fiscal year.
“We will look at Violet Lane in Field Township and optimistically Goshen Lane in Pendleton Township,” he said. “We will probably go to where an overlay is scheduled for completion in 2014, west of Waltonville on Dubois Road.”
Another project the board will preview is the overlay project scheduled for the Woodlawn area. The tour will also view the proposed project for a bridge replacement on Wells Bypass south of Veterans Memorial Drive, near where the new Mt. Vernon Township High School is planned to be built.
“We are hoping to get that repaired before construction starts,” Simmons said.
He said the informal meeting that takes place during the tour is a good time for county board members to bring forth their own ideas for future road projects. In addition, he said it helps to make the proposed improvements a reality for the board members who may have only seen blueprints otherwise.