• 45°

City seeking comments on road repairs

Ironton city officials are seeking public opinion about the possible paving of a segment of North Second Street.

Friday, November 19, 1999

Ironton city officials are seeking public opinion about the possible paving of a segment of North Second Street.

At a public meeting Thursday, city officials presented pros and cons of both repairing sections of the concrete and of paving the road.

"It comes down to an issue of rideability, really," city engineer Joe McCallister said. "There are advantages and disadvantages of both sides."

The concrete road, specifically the segment stretching from Orchard Street to the Hanging Rock village limits, is part of the federal "on system" roads designated by the Federal Highway Administration as alternate routes for U.S. 52.

Because the roads are part of the designated routes, the city secured grant funding to resurface the roads in the system that are in the worst condition. Empowerment Zone funds were used as matching dollars, city officials said.

But, some residents living along North Second Street petitioned the city to use the money earmarked for the road to make repairs to the concrete instead of resurfacing with asphalt.

After receiving informational packets about both options –  paving will provide a smoother ride and can be done on the whole road while using the nearly $100,000 in earmarked funding for concrete repairs will only patch the road’s worst sections –  residents expressed concern about long-term wear and tear, curbing and runoff issues.

"I am concerned with the cost of repairs once the road is resurfaced," resident Jim Clay said. "Where will we find money to keep the roads in good condition?"

The city will continue to pursue grants and other options that will allow maintenance that is cost-free to the residents, Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary said.

"Wherever we are paving we also are going to mill the roads –  grind them down to restore the full curbs," Cleary explained. "If we’re going to put new asphalt down, we are going to do it the right way."

Rather than just repairing the largest damaged areas until the earmarked funding runs out, some residents want to see the money utilized to restore and resurface the road from curb to curb.

"We’ve lived (on North Second Street) for 14 years and the street has been terrible since we’ve been there," resident Tony Crow said. "Rideability is a big issue for me in terms of the damage it does to vehicles and for safety of children riding buses."

Damaged vehicles from large sinkholes in the roadway also concerned resident Barry Stevens.

"In the eight or nine months I have lived (on North Second Street), I have had both my vehicles realigned twice," Stevens said. "we’ve got to get something done because it’s horrendous."

But, to completely resurface just the segment of the road in question with concrete would cost an estimated $4 million – money the city does not have, and a grant will not provide, McCallister said. The only way to solve the rideability issue is to asphalt the road, which also will repair much of the curb problems once the milling is complete, he added.

Ironton City Council will have the final say in the matter once the issue comes to council floor for a vote, Cleary said.

In the meantime, area residents are asked to mail their preferences for the road to Public Comment –  North Second Street, c/o Engineering Dept., P.O. Box 704, Ironton, Ohio, 45638.