Blacktopping program planning begins

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

BENTON - County Commissioners will go over bids once more before making equipment purchases, but have decided: Scott County will begin laying hot-

mix asphalt for its annual road program.

During their regular meeting Tuesday, commissioners said they anticipate accepting a bid for a used vibratory asphalt compactor and for a used hot-

mix asphalt machine Thursday during their regular meeting.

"Our roads got in so bad of shape this winter," said Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel. He said freezes and thaws took a particularly heavy toll this year.

Commissioner Jamie Burger agreed this was a very bad year for roads and not only for Scott County but for all the area roads.

The county has about $300,000 in its blacktopping budget this year, according to commissioners. They believe this money is best invested in hot-

mix asphalt overlays.

The county has a total of about 150 miles of blacktop, according to Priggel. "We should be able to overlay about 10 miles," he estimated for this year's program.

Burger clarified these will be overlays over existing blacktop, not new blacktop roads. Much of the 10 miles will be split up into in 50- or 100-yard stretches, commissioners said.

"We're just trying to maintain the roads we've got," Priggel said.

Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn was optimistic about going to the hot-mix method. "This is definitely more of a permanent fix," he said. He said this year's program will include a lot of patching.

Hot-mix asphalt lasts longer, Priggel said. "Our blacktop is going to hold up a lot better."

In recent years the county has typically contracted with an asphalt company to lay "a mile or two a year on our real busy roads," Priggel said.

Commissioners discussed a high-traffic road on which both hot mix and cold mix asphalts were laid at the same time five or six years ago.

"The hot mix is still perfect and the cold mix is coming apart," Burger said.

This example was one of the factors which influenced commissioners to decide in favor of purchasing hot-mix asphalt equipment.

"A lot of the other counties are going to this, too," noted Ziegenhorn.

Also during Tuesday's meeting commissioners discussed the monthly Scott County Leadership meeting for the county's mayors and school superintendents which is scheduled for noon Thursday at the Clinton Building in Sikeston.

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