PORTSMOUTH- Area roads have been through the wringer as of late, whether that be from winter weather or flooding emergencies. These emergencies have done none no favor to their status where ample potholes and cracks are present.
Just three months into his new role, Portsmouth City Engineer Nathan Prosch mapped out the needed paving repairs to city roads and sidewalks and the funds he believes it will necessitate to take on the project. This work is among a series of infrastructure plans mentioned during the city’s strategic planning session including a $40 million water treatment plant.
The maps shared at the meeting and later with the Portsmouth Daily Times are a work in progress Prosch said, but indicated multiple trouble spots — primarily along the southeastern portions of Portsmouth between Spartan Municipal Stadium and Gallia Street. Sidewalks in that area and near the courthouse are also marked in “poor” condition.
Without the full picture being realized, it is estimated at this point that repaving costs for city roads and sidewalks would be in the millions.
Early in this process, the maps have yet to rate the roads in the northern reaches of the city limits, which includes the Southern Ohio Medical Center and Mound Park. In an email, Prosch said he would like to cover all city streets including Sciotoville.
The Utah-based iWorQ, much like Google Maps, could assist him in completing the map by driving Portsmouth roads and doing a pavement assessment and sign inventory. Prosch said their help would be critical in helping him finish this project which has already taken a good deal of time.
Not including state highways such as Route 23 or Route 52, these 65 miles of roadway will require $770,000 each year over that time period to get the job done. Prosch determined this figure through cost estimates provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation and broke it down to a one mile measure.
Calculating that roads are 35 feet wide, enough for about three lanes, the combined cost per mile is just under $178,000. For each mile, $41,000 is needed for milling and $136,000 is the going rate for 1.5 inches of asphalt.
Using both the yearly estimate and the per mile allotment, the city could spend $11.5 million in repaving these roads between now and 2036 if it were start work this year.
“The 15 years for the roadwork will only work if I can spend the estimated amount,” Prosch clarified when asked about the timetable. “Since the amount I gave at the meeting is more than what is usually allocated for paving, it will take longer than 15 years to repave the whole city.”
No time estimate is connected with the sidewalk work, but the engineer again detailed the methodology in his calculations for its potential removal and replacement. Prosch said for each mile replaced it will cost $739,000 with the overall cost of $27.5 million for half of the city’s curbs and sidewalks.
Prior to these discussions, the city has taken action with the multi-use path along the floodwall murals. Receiving grants of $622,725 from ODOT and $187,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, council authorized the appropriation of $178,075 for the project last November.
Prosch wants to coordinate with ODOT for other construction grants now that the city has status a local public agency. Those funds could go towards on federal aid routes in Portsmouth, where federal money would cover 80% of a project.
“When you’re talking above $1 million, that helps a lot,” he said.
Before any work were to start, Prosch plans on establishing communications with the city’s Public Utilities Department to avoid any mishaps. His office is also in the process of creating a website, which he said will improve communications and better educate the public.
“It’s very bad to pave a road and then cut into the next year to replace a gas line or a water line,” he said.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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