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Trustees to use pavement management system to improve roads

UNION TOWNSHIP – What if Union Township had $1 million per year to spend on its roads.

It doesn’t, but JG3 Consulting, LLC, president James Golden presented several different scenarios to Union Township Trustees Monday night, illustrating how much money it would take annually to maintain township roads at various quality levels.

This was Phase II of JG3’s pavement management plan for the township. First, JG3 representatives surveyed all Union Township roads – nearly 52 miles of roadway – including some manual “boots on the ground” inspection with digital images, to determine the condition of township roads andgiveeacha0to100Pavement Condition Index rating (or PCI), with 0 considered a failed roadway and 100 considered in excellent condition. Township roads are a “64” overall.

Phase II uses the condition data from Phase I, the budget and condition analysis tools from the PAVER pavement management software and the company’s consulting expertise to create various “what if” budget and target driven scenarios over a five year period. “I call this the ‘fun’ stuff because through these tools and analysis we can start to prioritize and plan maintenance projects while projecting future conditions, all against various annual budgets,” Golden said previously.

Now that the township has a current condition score for each roadway, JG3 used the pavement management software tools in conjunction with local maintenance actions, types and costs, and pavement models to determine future/projected conditions. The proposed (not final) budget scenarios presented at the Dec. 15 trustee meeting were as follows:

• Expected annual condition over a five-year period if no money is spent – Although most Union Township pavements are currently rated “fair,” they will deteriorate to poor if no money is ever spent on them for five years, Golden said. “We can plot and show the consequences,” he said. The average road surface condition would decrease from today’s rating of 64 to an average rating of 45.46.

• Expected annual condition over a five year period at set budget (to be determined) – Trustee Charles Prince said the township has been spending at least $100,000 per year. At that continued annual expenditure, Golden said township roads will slowly dip toward the poor range, roughly decreasing from PCI 64 to 53 by 2019.

• Proposed costs to maintain the current condition of 65 over the next five years – Golden said the township would need to spend roughly $300,000 per year to maintain the current condition of township roads.

• Proposed costs to bring the overall network from a current condition of 64 to an optimal condition of 70 in five years- Golden said this would requite the township to devote $500,000 per year for the next five years.

• Average annual budget necessary to eliminate the backlog of maintenance in the township (bring all pavements within the network at or above “fair” condition, or a PCI of 55 or higher). Golden said spending $1 million per year for five years on the roads would bring the township’s overall PCI up to 89, nearly half of the township’s roads would be in excellent condition, and by 2019 the remaining would be in fair or good condition.

Clearly, Union Township does not have $1 million in its annual road budget, but Golden explained that the point of his data is to show what the township can do with its existing budget and what sort of condition it can expect its roads to be in at that level of investment. “Now we don’t have to guess,” he said. “If we have $100,000 in the till, what can we do with it? At the end of the day, it’s good stuff. We don’t have to live with bad roads.”

Trustees hired JG3 Consulting Pavement Management Services of Hebron for $6,896 for one year to inspect the township’s roads, establish baseline conditions and provide suggestions for repair and upgrade.

In other township news:

• Prince suggested that the township participate in an ODOT Pilot Project being coordinated by Licking County transportation planner Matt Hill. Licking County has too many intersection and segment crashes. The objective is to improve signage at intersections and road corridors based on crash data. If ODOT approves, townships would be given the additional signs needed for their crash-prone areas. Townships would have one year to install the signs and would be responsible for their maintenance. One of Hill’s objectives is to have a “stop sign ahead” sign in front of every stop sign.

“I don’t see what we’ve got to lose here,” Prince said. Trustees agreed.

Road supervisor Dave Cable said he believes Union Township is one of the 50 worst townships in Ohio for total accidents.

Sgt. Vincent Shirey of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Public Affairs Unit said that in 2013, the most active township in Ohio was Union in Clermont County, which reported 1,687 crashes. Etna Township was the most active in Licking County and ranked 92 in the state with 195 crashes reported. Union Township in Licking County reported 141 crashes in 2013 and this ranked it 157 in Ohio. There are 1,309 townships in Ohio.

• Trustees agreed to spend $4,710 with Grosse Construction Services to complete repairs and upgrades to the Union Township Complex and the township garage in Hebron. The work includes adding two windows at the complex to meet fire safety regulations in a mezzanine office area and a new door at the garage. Also at the garage, two leaky flashings on its metal roof will be replaced and its chimney will be removed down to the floor joist level of the second floor.

Prince suggested having an energy consultant conduct a lighting audit at both the garage and complex and then seek lighting upgrade incentives from AEP, rather than having Grosse replace three florescent fixtures at the garage for $885. Trustees agreed.

• Trustees will have their year end meeting at 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 29, at the Union Township Complex. Their 2015 organizational meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 5, at the township complex. A key order of business will be for Prince and Trustee John Slater to begin evaluating candidates seeking to fill at least one year of Trustee President Rick Black’s remaining term. Letters of interest and resumes from interested candidates must be postmarked no later than Monday, Dec. 29. Black takes office as a county commissioner on Jan. 1, replacing Doug Smith who retired at the end of his term.

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