Smith County Commissioners approved spending about $2 million on road repairs Tuesday morning, with the expectation to spend another $2.9 million for maintenance later in the year.

County Engineer Frank Davis presented the list of roads in need of repairs to the court for consideration.

The list includes repairs for three separate budgets as well as those on a long-range maintenance plan expected to be complete in May.

Davis said the county budgets about $500,000 for its seal coat program, and $500,000 is designated for its oil rebuild program. The rebuilds include grinding the top layer of the road, mixing it with chemicals and putting it back down. The surface is similar to a black top, Davis said.

Another $1 million is designated for the asphalt overlay program, but between $300,000 and $500,000 of that budget is devoted to repairing potholes, Davis said.

The county also is nearing the completion of a road study, with the help of consulting firm Atkins. The results will assist the county in developing capital improvement and maintenance lists for its road system.

"The list of roads I presented was a result of county crews … going out and driving all of the county roads, 1,170 miles," Davis said. "We evaluated them (and) rated them."

The list will then be given to Atkins to create the capital improvement plan.

Davis said the county has also set aside $2.9 million for extra improvements to get a start on the long-range road improvement plan.

"That won't carry very far, but it's a start," Davis said, adding the county officials did not want to wait a year to get started on the repairs.

 

POTHOLES

Davis said crews are currently working on potholes as weather permits.

"We have crews that all they are doing is potholes," he said. "In some areas we have double crews."

Davis said the county has worked to stay on top of the pothole situation following wintery weather and rain in February, which caused a sharp increase in divots.

"We haven't caught up, but we are getting ahead," he said.

 
 

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Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.