Road improvements are targeted to begin as early as Spring 2016 now that South Fayette has a dedicated fund in place for street maintenance.
On Dec. 9, the board voted 4-1 to increase the millage rate from 3.48 to 4.48 in an effort to provide a source of funds for a long-term capital improvement program dedicated to repairs and upgrades of the township’s 65 roads. Commissioner Jessica Cardillo was opposed. The decision came after a recent roadway maintenance study submitted by Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering, Inc. estimated a $32 million price tag for road improvement.
“The tax increase generates a little over a million dollars annually and we are going to apply nearly one million to the roads,” said township manager Ryan Eggleston. More than $850,000 would be distributed to the dedicated fund, and about $105,000 will go to materials for public works in-house road improvements. Exact numbers are still being determined.
Until now, there has been no dedicated fund for road maintenance. The township “scraped-up” about $300,000 dollars a year, said Mr. Eggleston. At that rate, it would have taken the township more than 100 years to cycle road repairs and maintenance. Now, with funds allocated to road improvement, Mr. Eggleston estimates it will only take 37.
The roadway maintenance study broke the roads down into three categories: collector, neighborhood and local. Collector covers the most traveled arteries needing major maintenance every eight to 10 years. Neighborhood covers developments and densely populated areas that need attention every 15 to 20 years. Local roads are rural and tend to need major maintenance every 30 years. The engineers estimated the costs of repair and upgrade per road. Those amounts ranged from $5,000 to more than $500,000.
“We will need to find the balance,” said Mr. Eggleston in terms of choosing thoroughfares to prioritize. “But that is one of the things we like about this study.” LSSE broke the annual costs down to allotted distribution suggestions.
6 local roads were rated the worst. “The local roads line item is less, but will still go the distance,” said Mr. Eggleston. “Instead of milling and overlaying--which is very expensive--we might do base repair and then tar and chip local roads. The lower cost enables us to do more.”
Amy Philips-Haller, freelance writer; email@example.com