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Hernando expands road paving plans

Commissioners approve a new list that adds 22.6 miles of county residential roads to the resurfacing schedule.

By JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 15, 2000


BROOKSVILLE -- Residents along another 22.6 miles of Hernando County roads will see their streets repaved, the result of the County Commission's reallocation of $1-million left over from last year.

The new list, approved Tuesday, bumps the total mileage in this year's paving program to 77.5. Once those roads are done, the county will have about 408 miles of residential roadways left to resurface.

Without increasing the rate at which roads are paved, completing the work would take four years. But Ron Caldi, assistant county engineer, expected the work to take less time -- especially if the commission continues to pump extra money into the effort.

Another way the county plans to maximize the number of miles it paves is by changing the type of overlay it uses, particularly on several Spring Hill roads that have a durable soil-cement base. This change will not reduce a road's life expectancy, Caldi said, but it will cut costs.

The roads might crack more rapidly, though, he said.

"Cracking, I do know, is a very visual effect of the roadway surface," Caldi told commissioners. "But from a strictly engineering perspective . . . it has very limited effect."

Some residents might be unhappy with the cracks, Commissioner Bobbi Mills acknowledged. But the engineering position appears sound, she said, and the commission needs to support it.

"I'm just pleased we're moving along as rapidly as we are," Mills said.

Commissioner Chris Kingsley asked how the staff chose the roads to be repaved. Caldi explained that they based the decision on a road's age and condition, and then tried to maximize the number of roads done by grouping them by neighborhoods. If some roads in an area get done when others don't, he said, it probably had something to do with road age.

As the work moves ahead, it also will include a comprehensive project list with dates, County Administrator Paul McIntosh said.

"By Thanksgiving we should be able to give you an itemized list of all the remaining roadways in the county and when they will be scheduled to be paved," McIntosh said.

The new list of roads, which includes an equal percentage of roads in each commissioner's district, should be done by summer.

Commissioners have named resurfacing residential roads as their top priority during the past few years.

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