Guernsey County Highway Department
The goal of the Guernsey County Highway Department is to provide our travelers with the safest and most reliable roads and bridges possible. This must be done with a cycle of continuous improvement and in a sustainable manner for the good of our community.
Paul Sherry P.E., P.S.
62782 Bennett Ave. Cambridge, OH 43725
Monday – Friday
7:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Spring 2021 Project Update
A few sunny days really brings some excitement for the construction season to begin and your Guernsey County Highway Department will be conducting a wide variety of projects throughout the County. We have posted project location maps under the Construction Maps tab of our website (guernseycountyengineer.com). This work includes bridge replacement, road reconstruction, resurfacing, and preventative maintenance.
One significant change that is going to help make progress on our infrastructure is consolidating the staff from the Middlebourne with the Cambridge location. Despite our employees’ best efforts, the mileage of roads under their care was just too much to maintain a satisfactory operational level.
While the outpost will still be used to store materials and equipment, this change will create a larger pool of people to select from and create the size of the work groups needed to complete the priority tasks county-wide. Even though some of our work can be done by a single person, having only five people at the outpost limits the efficiency and type of work that can be completed when three or more employees are needed. This will also balance our resources to more efficiently serve all parts of the County.
Grader ditching will be a major project for this spring. We anticipate cleaning up approximately 80 centerline miles of road throughout the County. It is scheduled to start mid-May and run for approximately 2 months. During this process sections of the roads will be closed for a few hours but, is very important to the longevity of any road. The grading and shaping of these roads will result in a better product for our travelers.
We are going to tackle another common County-wide complaint, mowing of the Right-of -way. The Guernsey County Highway Department runs two types of mowing, the long reach boom mowers and the mowing directly along the edge of the road. The long boom mowers run all year trying to keep woody vegetation from hanging over the road. This process is not going to change. The roadside mowing is the problem. It takes between 100 and 120 work days for us to make one round of the more than 800 miles that needs covered. This results in most of the roads look overgrown for most of the summer. By bringing in a professional mowing crew, we will have all the roads mowed an unprecedented three times throughout the growing season. This will free up County crews to focus on the ditching, patching, tree removal, and other road repairs throughout the County.
Unfortunately, like many Counties, COVID -19 caused some work to be moved back from 2020 into this year but on a positive note, the Pigeon Gap Road bridge replacement project has been moved up from 2023 to this year. We will be advertising for bids in May and expect the closure and construction to start in the Fall and lasting approximately 3 months.
In total, we will have almost $5,000,000 worth of construction being reinvested in our infrastructure this year. This has been greatly subsidized by grants and low interest loans. Our goal is to complete projects that will lower the regular maintenance cost and allow our operators to address areas that have been neglected.
We are now realizing significant savings in the preparation of design specifications, plans, contracts, and inspection, which were previously handled by consultants. Last year we added staff to reduce our dependency on using consultants by being able to reduce that expense by performing this work in-house. The result is we can develop projects more quickly and provide better services at a much lower cost.
Some additional work that is pending is for repairs on road slips from 2019. We are optimistic that FEMA will release these funds soon, allowing us to advertise and prepare the bid packages. Hopefully, there will be more to report in our summer 2021 update, but this has been a slow and tedious process.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Paul E. Sherry, PE, PS
Guernsey County Engineer
Click the picture below to see the multiple projects