Steamrollers will be trudging county and township roads across Butler County soon, now that the commissioners have approved $5.7 million to resurface 44 miles of county and township roads.
Some of the bigger projects include Union Centre Boulevard from the Fairfield border to Ohio 747 in West Chester Twp. and Cincinnati Dayton Road from Mauds Hughes Road to Ohio 129 in Liberty and West Chester townships, projects totalling $832,104.
Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens said resurfacing efforts have increased in recent years to bring road life cycles down to a more optimal range. When Wilkens took office in 2001, the resurfacing cycle was about 32 years. In 2017, it was 24 years. The goal to resurface roads every 15-16 years is about 10 years out, Wilkens said.
“With the program we’ve got allocated now, you can see that’s why there is $5.6 million in asphalt resurfacing,” Wilkens said. “Which is a big number … That’s to lower our life cycle. We should be around 17 years continuing on this program.”
West Chester will have the most roads resurfaced with 12.2 miles at a cost of $1.9 million. Tim Franck, community services director for the township, said they have budgeted about $750,000 — a total of $2.7 million for all infrastructure improvements this year — to put toward the paving projects.
Franck said they don’t have a formula for how often they repave roads, but everyone has had to make adjustments.
“We don’t have a specific time frame in mind, we evaluate each street per year…,” Franck said. “Historically when asphalt was cheaper a lot of communities paved every 15 years, no one can afford to do that now because of the cost.”
Liberty Twp. is second on the list of the most repaving projects with 7.5 miles and a $1.2 million expenditure. The township is contributing about $800,000 to the work. Trustee Board President Tom Farrell said they have many older neighborhoods and it is a challenge to keep up.
“Our road repair for our residential streets continues to grow,” Farrell said. “We knew it was going to happen, we know they only have so many years of use before they have to be repaved or black matted or repaired so we’re doing the best we can to stay ahead of it.”
Engineer’s spokesman Chris Petroci said some of the roads within the townships, like Cincinnati Dayton Road are county roads so that is on their dime. They bid all of the paving projects together but the townships are responsible for paying for their own roads.
“It saves money if we can lump township paving in with county paving,” Petroci said. “It saves everyone money.”
The road patching contracts are set for commissioner approval Monday.