Shelbyville Daily Union

January 10, 2014

Co. Highway Dept. presents annual report

Valorie Eversole Daily Union Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union

---- — Shelby County Engineer Alan Spesard presented his annual report to the County Board Wednesday morning citing major achievements for the 2013 year.

These achievements were thanks in part to nearly $2.2 million in funds from five different sources.

“That is the most we have been able to get in grants and other funds in one calendar year,” Spesard told the board. The previous high was $1.68 million.

Funds came from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF), State GCPF, and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

Those funds were used in the Henton county highway bridge project ($1,039,852); Lakewood bridge and other flood damage repairs ($361,468); Clarksburg county highway railroad crossing project ($396,455); two Okaw Township railroad crossings ($238,000); and county highway Findlay-Assumption intersection and Coon Creek Road upgrades ($150,000).

Projects completed during 2013 included the Neoga Road project, a two-year project that included resurfacing and new bridge. The total cost of the project was over $3.28 million.

“That was the largest contract ever let in Shelby County,” Spesard said.

Other projects include bridge replacements in Clarksburg, Prairie and Rose townships, on the Oklahoma road, and in the village of Sigel. Also completed were construction of two railroad crossings approaches in Shelbyville and Clarksburg townships and 11 township and village petitions for drainage structure replacement.

Spesard told the board that Shelby County is second in the state in the number of deficient bridges and third lowest in incoming revenue. He was also notified that the county will receive $300,000 less in funding from the state than last year.

“The money from the 2008 capital grant has now been spent,” Spesard said.

County Board chairman Bruce Cannon said that the reduction in funding was probably part of an attempt to balance the federal budget, “but it hurts us now.”

Cannon commended Spesard and the department for their work on the county roads and bridges and especially commended Spesard in his work to find funding for the projects.

The Shelby County Highway Department is responsible for maintaining and improving nearly 200 miles of county roadways and 59 county highway bridges, and providing assistance to township highway commissioners regarding 275 township bridges. All plans, specifications, and estimates for road and bridge projects are presented for approval by the County Board. The department also receives funding from the Motor Fuel Tax programs and local property taxes.

More on the County Board meeting will be printed in Tuesday, Jan. 14, edition of the Daily Union.