BATH TOWNSHIP – With spring quickly approaching, Bath Township officials have finalized a master plan for a 2018 road construction season, thanks in part to a 2.2-mill additional tax levy voters approved in November 2016.
Township Trustee Steve Ross reviewed the long list of proposed road projects township officials recently compiled for the construction season during the Feb. 21 township meeting. Township trustees have budgeted at least $323,200 for the road construction work, which includes $200,000 in annual property tax revenue generated from the 5-year road levy.
According to Ross, township officials surveyed miles and miles of township roads in an effort to prioritize the road projects and determine where the township would spend the road construction budget this year.
“There are six different things we need to do to our township roads; and thankfully, we have a road levy that allows us to do a lot of work this summer,” Ross said. “We are spending in excess of our road levy monies, but we have to.”
Road construction will soon get underway on Bath Road, which was recently added to the road project list. The project will include the 2-inch milling and 2-inch overlay of a portion of the road from Ohio State Route 4 to Kitridge Road.
“The road is full of layers that are literally coming apart. We have to get rid of all those layers and start with a fresh road,” said Michael Rhoades, a township road department employee. “It is a very heavily traveled road, and it is killing us right now trying to repair it with cold patch and skin patching.”
Township officials will coordinate the Bath Road project with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) State Route 4 and Bath Road intersection project scheduled for early spring, which will require the temporary closing of Bath Road.
The township will apply a crack seal application to Adams, Baker, Haddix, and Linebaugh Roads and Black Lane, which will come with a price tag of $7,700. According to Bath Township Road Supervisor Vern Heizer, the crack seal application will repair cracks in the road surfaces and extend the pavement life of the roads by three to five years.
Ross also voiced his concerns about the current condition of Byron Road, which he described as “a mess,” and noted that township officials would take a cost-effective approach to repair the road temporarily.
“What we need to do is start over on Byron Road, but we do not have enough money to do so. What we can do is skin patch it,” said Ross. “Skin patching seems to be the best band aid we have, and we need to do something this year.”
The township will also apply a skin patching treatment to Armstrong, Union, and Mud Run Roads as well as Lower Valley Pike. Ross explained that the skin-patching treatment would seal the existing surface of the roads and reduce water penetration into the asphalt.
“We purposely put the annual cost of skin patching at $20,000, which is high, so we could easily add Mud Run Road and Lower Valley Pike to the list,” Ross added.
The township will spend $12,000 for a chipseal surface treatment to Arabian Drive in the Twin Towers Subdivision, which Ross noted is the only road in the subdivision that the township did not treat with a chipseal surface treatment in 2017.
According to Ross, the largest outlay of money for the 2018 road construction season will be $231,500 for the 2-inch milling and 2-inch asphalt overlay on Bath Road and Ravenwood Drive, as well as the half-inch milling, chipseal surface treatment, and microsurfacing on Clearcreek Trail in the Fairfield II Subdivision.
“We need a fix that will last a while, and we got the money to do it now,” said Ross.
Other road projects planned for the 2018 road construction season include the microsurfacing of Appaloosa Trail and Wilkerson Road, which the township applied a chipseal surface treatment to last year. The estimated cost of the two projects will total $50,000.
A total of $2,000 will be used for several road surface markings projects. The township will be changing the centerline on Adams Road to a double yellow line, which will delineate a no-passing zone the full length of the road. Both the center and edge lines on Old Yellow Springs Road will also receive a new coat of paint. Once the road construction projects are completed on Ravenwood Drive and Wilkerson Road, both center and edge lines will be painted on the new road surfaces.
“We should complete some really good work in 2018. We will be fixing a lot of stuff that we have been trying to fix for a few years with more permanent solutions that will last for five-to-10 years,” Ross said. “The weather has contributed to many of our problems this year, and we need to address them.”
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.