One of the Allen County Engineer’s routine Spring activities is the annual review of county and township road conditions. The Allen County Engineer oversees 353 miles of county roadway, while the 12 Allen County townships oversee a combined 550 miles of township roads. County and township officials are reviewing the pavement conditions of Allen County township and county roads currently. Once condition ratings are established, these agencies meet to prioritize which roads need to be fixed with the limited resources available.
A meeting of all township trustees, the Allen County Engineer and Allen County Commissioners is held every year towards the beginning of Spring. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and finalize the Road Programs for township, village and county road work in Allen County. At the upcoming meeting, County Engineer Brion Rhodes will review the planned road work for the county, twelve townships and six villages.
Just as the cycle of seasons come and go, so do the annual bridge inspections for the 377 bridges under the responsibility of the Allen County Engineer Brion Rhodes and his staff. This task takes an entire year to complete, with some structures receiving more attention than others. Twenty of these bridges are designated “fracture critical” and require an additional biennial inspection, where each bridge is more thoroughly examined. Additionally, 38 of the current structures have weight limits and four are currently closed. The weight limited bridges and those with wooden decks are checked several times per year. Regardless of the type of bridge, rest assured, the Allen County Engineer is dedicated to maintaining safe bridges for all of the motorists of Allen County.
While labor, equipment and material costs rise on an annual basis, the major funding sources for roads and bridges in Allen County haven’t increased in decades. For example: Allen County residents have not seen an increase in permissive license plate fees since its inception in 1968 (50 yrs). Ohio license plate fees haven’t increased since 1988 (30 yrs), the federal gas tax has not increased since 1993 (25 yrs) and the Ohio gas tax hasn’t increased since 2005 (13 yrs).
Realizing the poor condition and need for repairs to our roads and bridges, on June 28, 2018, the Allen County Commissioners agreed to increase the permissive license plate fees for Allen County residents. This permissive license plate fee was increased by $5 to all Allen County residents when license plates are renewed after January, 2019. In addition, county residents outside of Lima or Spencerville will see an additional $5 fee for the same purpose. Residents inside Lima and Spencerville have already been charged this fee for municipal upgrades for years and therefore will not be affected. These increased fees are expected to generate about $740,000 annually and can only be used for road and bridge improvements according to law.
Bids were opened for the construction of a new Slabtown Road bridge Monday, July 2, 2018. The new Bath Township bridge, BTH-165-3.22, located 0.12 mile north of Sugar Creek Road, will replace a truss bridge built in 1941. The low bidder was R & I Construction of Tiffin, OH at $521,692.50. Construction of the new bridge should be completed in late October.
On June 22, 2018, bids were opened for the 2018 contract paving throughout the county. The Shelly Company of Findlay, OH was the low bidder. Their winning bid of $1,117,914.56 for 12 miles of paving also includes various asphalt planning, lane striping, traffic maintenance and mobilization. Revenue for this work is primarily from State of Ohio Issue 1 Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) funds, and Allen County townships also pay their portions. Work should be completed by November.
The Allen County Engineer and the 12 Townships collectively maintain 352 and 550 miles of roads, respectively. Unfortunately, most of the roads are in disrepair and there isn’t enough money to fix them. Therefore, every Spring the County Engineer and the Township Trustees evaluate the conditions of every road in the County. Once the condition ratings are established, these agencies meet to prioritize which roads need to be fixed with the limited resources available.
A meeting of all township trustees, the Allen County Engineer and Allen County Commissioners was held on Tuesday, April 17th at 11 A.M. at the Allen County Engineer’s Office, 1501 N. Sugar Street, Lima, Ohio. The meeting was to discuss and finalize the 2018 Road Programs for township, village and county road work in Allen County. At the meeting, County Engineer Brion Rhodes reviewed the totals for road work for the county, twelve townships and six villages.