Engineer’s Update

Summer 2020 Construction Update


Despite COVID -19’s efforts to slow us down, we are still pressing forward with our 2020 Construction.  We have two bridges being reconstructed, grader patching underway, road repairs, preventative maintenance, and resurfacing yet to come this year. With the unusually wet spring, we are a little behind schedule with mowing but have covered all but 4 Townships.  We should be caught up with those in the next few weeks.


Our bridge crews are replacing two bridges in Spencer Township: Hendershot and Red Lane.  Each bridge is expected to be closed for two weeks.  We are able to minimize the closure time by pre-fabricating the structure at the garage before closing the road and removing the old structure.  Another time saving pre-assembly technique we are using is building sections of deck to be able to cover the structure faster versus placing individual boards.


Grader patching has and will make a positive impact on New Gottengen, Frankfort, and Peoli Roads. This work is being completed by County crews and equipment using hot mix asphalt. The goal is to repair areas with reoccurring potholes, fill areas that have base failures, and provide a smoother ride to vehicles. So far, over 2000 tons of asphalt has been placed with 2500 budgeted for this year.


Road repairs are being performed by a contractor in advance of an asphalt overlay or a new to our County Roads surface treatment called micro-surfacing.  Typically, a road repair is done by milling a section of road that has failed at various spot locations, but with an area much larger than a few potholes.  Size varies but you will see some as small as 4’ by 20’ or some as large as 8’ by 100’.  


Micro-surfacing has been used on many highways and local roads in Guernsey County, but it will be a first for several County Roads.  The process includes crack sealing prior to an application of a mixed slurry of aggregate and liquid binder.  This is very effective in extending the life of an asphalt road, especially those with very low traffic volume, fewer than 400 cars per day.


Additionally, traditional asphalt resurfacing will be taking place on sections of Pennyroyal, Salem, Robbins, Trail Run, Vocational, and Tyson Mill Roads.  These projects are completed by contractors and consist of several road repairs followed by two 1” courses of asphalt overlay.  Roads are reduced down to one lane and will be controlled by flaggers.


FEMA funded slip repairs are subject to a very thorough design and review process.  Hull and Associates has been awarded the investigation, justification, and design on 4 major project locations.  The last, smaller project will be completed in August using funds from FEMA.


The last issue is arguably the most important; how to repair the formerly chip seal roads?  Of our 420 miles of road about 200 miles are failed chip seal and gravel.  In 2021 we will utilize a road repair technique that should help with the under-funded secondary roads.  This pug-paving process costs $100,000 per mile versus $150,000 per mile for hot mix asphalt, but also provides a better life cycle cost on low volume roads.  Over the last 20 years we lost our investment in the chip and seal roads by not utilizing all of the revenue stream that is available.  We hope that this pilot project will show what can be done with up-to-date funding. 


I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the community and will continue to provide the highest level of service possible.



Paul E. Sherry, PE, PS

Guernsey County Engineer

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