The Ottumwa Courier

March 13, 2014

Van Buren OKs road projects

By RUSTY EBERT
Correspondent

---- — KEOSAUQUA — County Road W40, north of Bonaparte, will be repaved thanks to the Van Buren County Supervisors. The board approved the repayment on Monday at its meeting.

The board also passed a resolution approving an application for Area XV Regional Planning Commission transportation program funds for improvements to county road W40. County Engineer Dave Barrett estimated that the cost would be $2.1 million. He proposed using funds the county gets from the Regional Planning Agency Surface Transportation Program.

Currently, the county has a balance of $429,169, which would grow to $1,155,528 by fiscal year 2018, Barrett told supervisors. The county could borrow ahead that amount and use $1 million in farm-to-market money to supplement the rest of the cost.

Supervisor Ted Nixon said other counties have borrowed ahead on the surface transportation funds, including Keokuk and Wapello counties. Barrett said the re-paving would be done next year.

The re-paving of V64 is also a project for 2015, Barrett said. Supervisors discussed that road, which has been plagued with problems because of no shoulder. Barrett said milling off several inches and then repaving would buy the county 15-20 years. He said the DOT will do core samples of V64 and W40 to determine exactly how many inches of pavement each road has.

Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh asked Barrett to consider paving V64 with concrete rather than blacktop.

He said a presentation by the Iowa Concrete Association at a recent meeting showed that concrete is comparably priced with blacktop and is longer lasting.

“With Obama’s stimulus, that really drove up the cost of the blacktop,” Waugh said. “I’m just asking on V64, are we at a point now with the shoulders the way they are, in the long run, will we be better off with concrete?”

Barrett said that concrete is a good value right now, but he recommended not putting it on where there is no shoulder. “You are still raising the road and getting less shoulder when you do concrete.”

Supervisor Ted Nixon said although the road could be re-built, “it’s a matter of economics. It would cost $8 million to rebuild the road on that stretch of V64.”

“But I’m not calling for a complete overhaul,” said Waugh. “I’m just trying to compare cost of concrete versus asphalt and the longevity.”

Mark Meek said he would agree that the county would get longevity with concrete. “You would have 20 years extra with the concrete.” However, he said, the problems with the no shoulder don’t lend itself to using concrete on V64.

In other news, the Iowa DOT made its counter offer in the transfer of jurisdiction of Highway 98.

The state offered $2.145 million, which would be payable in FY2016. “They don’t see that amount going much higher,” Barrett said. “The DOT noted that the bridge project at Douds is probably close to $6 million, which is more than what was previously told the county.”

“They may think it’s a good deal, but we’re getting a chunk of road forever,” said Supervisor Ted Nixon.

Initially, the DOT had offered $1.5 million. The county asked the DOT for $1.5 million per mile, or $2.865 million.

The supervisors will meet with the DOT on March 24 for a road tour of Highway 98.