Maintaining Roads and Bridges

Updated:  Dec 15, 2022 

county highway department seal Roads and Bridges. The condition of roads and bridges probably gets the most complaints in social media comments. The highway superintendent briefs the Commissioners at every meeting (two a month). Occasionally, a citizen or two will provide a complaint at the meetings and rarely gets a satisfying response.

Dec 14, 2022. County receives $1 million grant for 5th time; Community Crossings funds to finance paving of North Shore, South Shore Drives, Beanblossom Road By  Abigail Youmans

Aug 1, 2022. Commissioner Jerry Pittman Facebook Post – Status on Roads and Bridges  “Please take a look at how Brown County Roads have improved since 2015 when the Commissioners instituted a plan for paving Roads …  Go to Brown County after you get to this site…Tremendous improvement in 6 years! ” Purdue – LTAP Asset Management Plan – Brown County

Aug 2, 2022.  Jerry Pittman: In 2017, 52% of Brown County paved roads were rated as poor…In 2021 only 8% were rated as poor…Today 91.54% of our roads are rated Fair of better…The average PASER rating today is 7.8 (on a scale of 1-10) Sincerely, Jerry Pittman

Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER)

PASER Rating

June 23, 2022. Commissioners OK bid to pave 8 roads, discuss future plans  By  Suzannah Couch

Aug 15, “2018”.   Bridge inspection report: More than $9 million in work needed to replace bridges over next nine years.  What is the current status?  What has been funded? Is there a link to a report?

Update on Status – Commissioner Jerry Pittman: May 28, 2022

    • Jerry Pittman Folks, An update on your questions and comments below….Roads chosen are generally prioritized by 2 parameters, Paser rating and traffic density. We have advertised for bids for 8 roads out of local paving money for this summer. Lanam Ridge is at the top of the list, followed by, Spearsville, 3 Story Hill, Hornettown, Parkview, and alternates Woodland Lake, Hurdle, and Owl Creek for a total of 20.55 Miles. The bids will be opened at our June 1, 2022 Commissioner Meeting. Of course, it depends on how much the bids come in for whether we can do all these roads. Last year a mile of Hot Mix Asphalt cost about $128,000.00 per mile….We’ll know more on June 1….All of our Road Improvement plans are on the Highway Department page of the Brown County Website.
    •  Jerry Pittman Brown County has 234.83 miles of paved roads. Of those miles, 134.88 have been paved since 2015 and are in excellent condition. In 2022 we plan to pave another 31.10 miles leaving only 79.40 miles to finish in following years. No paving has started this season because of wet and soft roads….We don’t want to damage good roads just getting to the bad ones.
      • By the way, we cannot use Innkeepers Tax to pave roads (by Law), that tax is mostly paid by visitors not citizens. My door is always open to anyone who would like to talk about County issues. My contact info is on the County Website. Once again, we are doing the best we can with what we get from the State. If you are not happy with the funding we receive, please contact you State Legislators. Thanks to all, for your questions and comments. Sincerely, Jerry Pittman

Commissioners praise the work that is and has been done and the “record number” of miles of road that have been paved under their leadership. It’s an Endless Loop: “We’re doing great” vs the ‘Roads are terrible.”

A SOLUTION? Demand a Comprehensive Asset Management Plan for Roads and Bridges that identifies priorities (paving and repair) and the type of work being done to include the schedule. The status of the plan can then be briefed at the commissioner meetings and posted online.  The condition and status of all the roads and bridges can also be made available as a layer on the County GIS Map.

Planning and Assessment Examples – other counties in the US:

Highway Department – Brown County Indiana

Inventory and Condition – All Brown County Roads. 20200211-pavement-inventory-and- condition

PASER Rating

(PASER) Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (Wikipedia)

Purdue University

Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)

Indiana Local Roads – An Asset Management Guide for Cities Towns

For paved roads (PASER scores range from 1 to 10 with a 10 representing a pavement in excellent condition):

    • » PASER ratings of 8, 9, or 10 indicate that little or no maintenance is needed.
    • » PASER ratings of 5, 6, or 7 indicate that some preventive maintenance and patching might be needed.
    • » PASER ratings of 4 or lower indicate that rehabilitation or reconstruction might be needed.

For bridges (NBI ratings range from 0 to 9, with a 9 representing a bridge in Excellent condition):

    • » NBI ratings of 8 or 9 indicate that little or no maintenance is needed.
    • » NBI ratings of 5, 6, or 7 indicate that some routine or capital preventive maintenance
      work might be needed to restore the integrity and serviceability of the bridge.
    • » NBI ratings of 4 or lower indicate that structural improvements, such as rehabilitation or replacement, are needed.

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