DARKE COUNTY — The Darke County Highway Department spent more than $2.3 million in 2018 on road and bridge improvements, Darke County Engineer Jim Surber said in his office’s annual report for the past year.
“The 2018 construction season will be remembered for high temperatures and exceptionally abundant rainfall, making construction and roadside mowing more challenging,” Surber said in the report. “We continued to perform all types of road and bridge work, with the exceptions of asphalt paving and painting the no-passing and pavement edge lines.”
Surber said in addition to snow/ice control, roadside mowing and normal maintenance over 522 road miles of county roads, county workers performed 16 construction projects on bridges and culverts, applied surface chip-sealing to more than 16 miles of road and replaced 16 culverts on county and township roads.
He said the costs of road materials and equipment maintenance continue to rise much faster than other costs, demanding increasing amounts of available revenue.
“Consider that our revenue for 2006 was $5,183,892, and was $5,143,153 for 2017. Thanks to a local license fee increase that began in 2018, our revenue for last year increased $381,908.89. This was very much needed and appreciated, and is an actual increase of 7.4 percent over 13 years,” he said.
Spending for the year was $142,502.22 greater than 2017 but $378,204.38 less than the total receipts. The artificial increase in total receipts was from reimbursements and sale of equipment assets. Overall expenditures for the county’s department were approximately $5.69 million.
In 2018, county workers resurfaced 24.93 miles of road and chip-sealed 16.8 miles. Centerline striping was done on 210.89 road miles with 84.25 miles having edge line striping done.
“A total of 41.73 miles of road now have new surfaces which is 8 percent of the total mileage (522.509). If this rate can be continued, all county roads will have surfaces renewed about every 12 to 13 years,” Surber said.
As well, six new bridges were constructed and three bridges rehabilitated, among other projects.
“Our employees continue their great job of performing road and bridge maintenance and construction responsibilities,” he said. “We are now equipped to surface-seal more roads with county personnel and equipment.”
To see a complete, detailed report, contact the Darke County Engineer’s Office by phone at 937-547-7375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.