By Jim Surber P.E., P.S. Darke County Engineer
DARKE COUNTY ENGINEER’S
ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2021
By: Jim Surber P.E., P.S. Darke County Engineer
As always, this report shows all money received for the year, where it was spent, and what it maintained, constructed, purchased, or improved.
A notable accomplishment was the completion of a new 23,540 square foot truck storage building and attached 2800 sq. ft. office/employee facility. Construction began in October of 2020, with substantial completion in July, 2021. Funding was 100% from highway funds, and required $1,894,312.53 over two years. The facility is used for offices and storage of 24 dump trucks, while our former building, built in 1977-78, will continue to be used for repair and maintenance.
We were fortunate to receive $1,398,493.05 in state and federal grant funding for four projects in 2021, which had been up to five years in the making. An OPWC resurfacing project of 13.89 miles, a federal aid project to replace a 100 foot span bridge, federal aid for a pavement marking project, and funds for a sign upgrade project. The total cost of the four projects was $2,295,428.92, and the required County matching funds were $896,935.87 (39%). This was a large component in helping to preserve our cash balance in spite of building costs. The department continues to avoid debt and owns all equipment.
Our overhead costs increased for the year due to the rising prices of repair parts and fuel, and the past year was challenging; dealing with the ongoing pandemic, and watching as continual price increases erode the purchasing power of precious additional revenue we received from the increased Ohio fuel tax of 2019.
Spending for 2021 was $33,093.13 (0.5%) less than during 2020, and $344,788.75 (4.6%) less than the 2021 receipts.
Readers may contact us with any questions or comments. Phone: 937-547-7375 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2021 RECEIPTS 2021 EXPENDITURES
Motor License Fees
Resurfacing & Chip-Seal
Bridge Construction & Maint.
Wages and Salaries
Equipment & Repairs
Fuel (All Co. Departments)
$ _ 78,480.53
Road Maintenance Materials
* Sale of Assets $ 30,663.15 Fuel Reimb. $ 58,574.76
Wkr. Comp. $ 2,428.67
New Building (2021 cost)
Total 2021 Receipts: $ 7,413,673.35 Total 2021 Expenditures: $ 7,068,884.60
(2020 Receipts: $7,390,441.32) (2020 Expenditures: $7,101,977.73)
Miles of Road Resurfaced: 29.35 Centerline Striping: 311.75 road miles
Miles of Road Chip-sealed: 22.64 Edge line Striping: 100.70 lane-miles
New Bridges Constructed: 4
Bridges Rehabilitated: 1
Kenworth tandem truck (equipped):$ 144,226.00 Ram 5500 utility truck: $ 41,161.00
Ram pickup truck: $ 27,682.00 Rotary mower: $ 16,450.50
2 snowplows and cutterhead: $ 31,483.81 Total purchases: $261,003.31
ANNUAL MAINTENANCE DATA
County road culverts replaced: 2 Diesel used: 51,436 Gallons
Signs & posts purchased: $50,998.80 Gasoline used: 8,117 Gallons
Sign repair/replacement: 476 locations Salt & ice grits purchased: $ 173,316.15
Township Road culverts and tile replaced: 8 locations Crackseal material applied: 31,850 lbs.
County Roads: 522.591 miles County and Township Bridges (over 10’ span): 517
Large culverts: (30”-10 ft.): 365 Roadway culverts (12”-30”): 1703
Right-of-way: 3335 acres Stop signs: 819
Warning signs: 2228 Road name signs: 1326
2021 ROAD IMPROVEMENTS
We contracted 29.35 miles of asphalt resurfacing with Walls Brothers Asphalt on fourteen roads during the year at an average cost of $84,036 per mile. Using County personnel and equipment, we applied chip seal and fog seal to 22.64 miles on fourteen different roads with an average material cost of $12,654 per mile. The cost differential between the two applications is over 6.6 to 1, and both methods are used to enable us to preserve and improve the surfaces of some 50 miles of road per year with available revenues.
ASPHALT RESURFACING BY CONTRACT
ROAD NAME LENGTH ASPHALT AGGREGATE TOTAL COST
(Miles) (Tons) (Cu. Yd.)
Hillgrove-Woodington 2.12 1986.95 181.51 $ 164,467.68
Coletown-Lightsville 3.99 3914.90 323.42 $ 326,038.04
Weavers-Ft. Jefferson 1.16 1219.33 91.89 $ 98,725.78
Bishop 2.38 2458.16 188.22 $ 198,202.40
Horatio-Harris Creek 1.80 1768.65 166.34 $ 146,837.02
Delisle-Fourmans 1.84 1661.92 94.35 $ 134,010.83
Rossburg-Lightsville 1.77 1763.57 138.06 $ 147,830.11
Elijah-York 0.40 387.73 59.06 $ 35,654.89
*Beamsville-Webster 3.33 3089.28 306.06 $ 262,690.47
*Hollansburg-Arcanum 6.19 6753.31 608.18 $ 553,487.22
*McGreevey 1.17 1201.05 129.32 $ 106,154.24
*Mills 1.54 1589.12 129.84 $ 130,098.54
*Sebring-Warner 0.55 686.98 47.33 $ 56,782.88
*Childrens Home-Brad. 1.11 1254.68 103.18 $ 105,477.09
Totals 29.35 29,735.63 2,566.76 $ 2,466,457.19
Avg. application: 1013 tons per mile (1-1/2 inches thick in two courses) Avg. cost per mile: $84,036
Of the cost per mile, $79,576 was for asphalt, with $4,460 for gravel berm.
The last six roads “*” were resurfaced in a Joint OPWC project between the County and ten different Townships, using $900.000.00 of state funds. The total cost was $2,228,608.09 and the local costs
($710,274.47 by the County and $618,333.62 by the Townships) were paid by those entities. A new bridge on Childrens Home-Bradford Road was built by the County bridge crew prior to the road paving.
Total Resurfacing: 29.35 miles Total Cost: $2,466,457.19 (County Cost = $1,962,041.21 )
SURFACE SEAL BY COUNTY PERSONNEL & EQUIPMENT (material costs shown)
Chip Seal: 0.45 gal. RS-2 emulsion and 26 lb. stone per sq. yd. Fog Seal: 0.09 gal./sq. yd.
ROAD NAME MILES COST ROAD NAME MILES COST
Darke-Shelby Co. Line 1.00 $12,999.87 Cohee 1.50 $18,039.44
Childrens Home-Brad. 0.35 $ 3,913.83 Mangen 5.81 $72,494.80
Darke-Mercer Co. Line 5.93 $75,335.39 Darke-Preble Co. Line 0.74 $ 9,039.41
Darke-Mercer Co. Line 1.01 $12,127.69 Darke-Montgomery Line1.15 $14,134.20
Elijah-York 1.99 $ 24,667.25 Darke-Preble Co. Line 0.73 $ 9,024.83
Shook 0.49 $ 6,132.45 Stocksdale 1.00 $12,826.24
Ross-Medford 0.14 $ 1,806.76 Layton 0.80 $13,959.65
Total 22.64 mi. $286,501.81
Average cost per mile: $12,654.67
51.99 miles of County road received new surfaces in 2021, which is nearly 10% of the total mileage (522.591). Our goal is to renew the surfaces of all roads about every 10 years.
Total County paving and sealing costs: $2,752,959.00 (with $504,415.98 paid by state grant funds).
We received a federal grant for pavement marking which was contracted with The Aero-Mark Company for the painting of new centerline/no-passing markings on 259.76 miles of County road, including 22 railroad and school zone markings and other miscellaneous markings. The project cost was $147,431.47 and was totally paid by the grant. On newly paved and sealed roads, we separately contracted for centerline markings on 51.99 miles, and white edge lines on 100.70 lane miles (50.35 road miles). The cost of this work was $61,155.18. Darke County pavement marking for 2021 used 1990 gallons of white paint, 5513 gallons of yellow paint and 30 tons of reflective glass beads. The average cost was $463.13 per road mile for yellow markings and $776.24 per road mile for white edge lines.
TOWNSHIP COOPERATIVE WORK
During 2021, the highway department provided $20,725.00 of free labor and equipment to 13 Boards of Township Trustees, and $40,959.50 to 7 Townships that was reimbursed. This work included shoulder widening on 1.9 miles, the replacement of 9 roadway culverts (12”-36” diameter), and extensions of a 4’ x 4’ box culvert. These were on 7 different roads in 7 different Townships. The Trustees of two Townships (Wayne and Harrison) each furnished new asphalt surfaces for new and rehabilitated bridges on their roads during the year.
We also provided the specifications and bidding process for the asphalt paving of seven different Township roads in seven different Townships, totaling 7.723 miles; and coordinated the application of 63.15 miles of centerline and edge-line pavement markings for ten different Townships at a contracted cost of $26,859.78.
We applied and received a grant of $38,200 to upgrade and improve selected warning, curve, and road name signs on County roads throughout the county, which were all erected by County personnel and equipment.
2021 BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION AND REHABILITATION
In addition to maintenance and repair, we built two new bridges on County roads, two new bridges on Township Roads, and rehabilitated another with data shown below. All design for four, and the construction for three bridge projects shown below, was by County personnel with funding as shown.
NEW BRIDGES (4)
Three new bridges built were galvanized steel beam superstructures with timber decks on concrete abutments. All work, including steel fabrication was done by Darke County personnel.
Costs shown include additions for overhead on labor and materials as mandated by Ohio law and the State Auditor’s policies for force account bridges built after 07/01/2003.
Road Name Bridge No. Span x Width Costs
Materials &Equip. Labor & Fringe Total
Childrens Home-Bradford C033-0245 16’ x 30’ $ 32,566.94 $11,728.72 $ 44,295.66 Hollansburg-Sampson C023-0273 31’ x 32’ $ 75,750.65 $24,583.99 $ 100,334.64
New Garden T084-1073 18’ x 24’ $ 32,484.31 $60,218.93 $ 92,703.24
NEW FISHER-DANGLER ROAD BRIDGE OVER GREENVILLE CREEK
Planning for this major bridge project began in January of 2016, and in 2021 the 16-foot wide bridge over Greenville Creek, a state-designated scenic river, was replaced with a 100 foot span galvanized steel truss having a width of 28 feet. Design and engineering was performed by our department with Brumbaugh Construction, a local contractor, performing the work. Eighty percent of the project’s construction cost was paid by federal funds.
Fisher-Dangler T092-0191 100’ x 28’ Total contract cost: $885,557.00
Federal LBR grant: $708,445.60 Local (County) cost: $177,111.40
BRIDGE REHABILITATION AND REPAIR (1)
On this 104 foot span bridge on Martz Road, the county crew replaced the steel stringers and bearings, installed a new timber deck with waterproofing, and a new asphalt surface was furnished by the Wayne Township Trustees.
Martz T230-0212 104’ x 24’ $ 62,800.49 $ 13,234.07 $ 76,034.56
(Note: This entire bridge cost $60,910.69 to build in 1979)
Grand Total $1,198,925.10
436 new bridges have been built on Darke County and Township Roads since 1977.
Ohio law limits force account bridge construction (construction by County personnel and equipment) to bridges costing under $100,000.00. This amount was set in 2003, and the increased costs of the past eighteen years now allow only the smallest bridges to be built by the County. Efforts to increase this limit were ignored by state legislators, who settled with an increase equal to the ODOT construction index, which was determined to be 1.7%. The cost of many bridge materials has doubled in the last year, which foretells the difficulty to be experienced in future bridge replacements.
ACTUAL BRIDGE WORK COUNTY COSTS
Reported costs for four new bridges and one bridge rehabilitation: $1,198,925.10 Actual purchased materials and supplies: $188,739.29 Local Cost of Fisher-Dangler Bridge: $177,111.40
Total Actual County Expenditure: $365,850.69
STATE SUFFICIENCY RATINGS OF BRIDGES ON DARKE COUNTY AND TOWNSHIP ROADS
(Each bridge is rated from 0-100 based upon its condition and annual inspection)
The average sufficiency rating of all 517 bridges is 91.2%
Number of bridges % of total bridges Sufficiency Rating
303 58.6 % EXCELLENT (90-100)
200 38.7 % GOOD (70-90)
10 1.9 % FAIR (50-70)
4 0.8% POOR (0-50)
(Of the four bridges in poor condition; one is an historic arch structure on a township road, one is limited to bicycle and pedestrian traffic, one is a closed bridge in an incorporated village, and one is owned by the CSX railroad.)
The average age of the 517 bridges on County and Township roads is 36.0 years.
DETAILED EXPENDITURES FOR 2021
(Amount per category, percentage of total expenditures, and change from 2020)
WAGES & FRINGE 31.7% +1.0% from 2020
IMPROVEMENTS 52.8% +8.9% from 2020
(Engineer plus 31 fulltime )
(Road paving, sealing, construction and bridge costs)
WAGES $ 1,622,558.47
PAVING (29.35 Mi.) $ 1,962,041.21 ($2,466,457.19)*
PERS $ 218,729.24
CHIP/SEAL (22.64 Mi.) $ 286,501.81
HEALTH INS. $ 336,301.02
UNIFORMS $ 14,283.42
BRIDGE WORK $ 365,850.69 ($1,074,296.29)**
CAPITAL IMPROVE. $ 1,117,285.57 ***
MEDICARE $ 21,871.78
TOTAL $ 3,731,679.28
WKRS. COMP. $ 10,463.38
* $504,415.98 furnished by OPWC grant, paid to contractor
DRUG TESTS $ 1,347.00
**$708,445.60 furnished by federal grant, paid to contractor
ADM. FEES $ 4,041.62
LIFE INS. $ 1,432.20
*** Amount paid on new truck storage building
SEVERANCE $___ 12,287.36______
TOTAL $ 2,243,315.49 (38.3% fringe)
ROAD MAINTENANCE MTLS. 5.1% -3.9% from 2020
SALT & ICE GRITS $ 173,316.15
OVERHEAD 6.7% +1.7% from 2020
SIGNS & POSTS $ 12,798.80 ($ 50,998.80) *
UTILITIES/BLDG. MAINT. $ 35,003.94
GRAVEL $ 10,247.50
PARTS & SUPPLIES $148,227.64
PAV’T MARKING $ 64,367.98 ($211,799.45) **
FUEL (all County Depts.) $246,406.85
DRAINAGE $ 10,103.53
LUBE/FILTERS $ 18,283.26
TIRES $ 10,879.29
BATTERIES $ 2,644.62
REPAIRS BY OTHERS $ 5,219.90
DUES, ADVERTISING $_ 3,651.45____
TOTAL $ 470,316.95
ASPHALT $ 6,775.09
MISC. ________$ 84,960.52___
TOTAL $ 362,569.57
* $ 38,200.00 furnished by sign grant
** $147,431.47 furnished by Fed. grant
EQUIPMENT PURCHASE; $261,003.31 3.7% -7.7% from 2020
TOTAL EXPENDITURES: $7,068,884.60
Maintaining roads and bridges includes many different tasks and responsibilities. The most visible are snow plowing and roadside mowing, but the continual repair and replacement of bridges, signs, maintaining drainage along and through the roads, repairs and clean-up from weather events and vehicular accidents, and the trimming and removal of trees and brush along roads are never-ending tasks. Repairing and sealing cracks in asphalt pavement surfaces to prevent water intrusion is always needed. Our team members chip-seal roads, replace culverts and subsurface crossings, build new bridges, maintain, repair and inspect all bridges, maintain roads, and maintain and repair all County equipment. They perform all road and bridge work except asphalt road resurfacing and the painting of the yellow and white lines on the pavement.
The department includes the County Engineer and thirty-one personnel, with twenty-seven at the Highway Department and four at the Courthouse Office. The office performs surveying and design, all bridge inspections, contract management, clerical and payroll, maintains tax maps, and reviews and approves all deed transfers and new land surveys.
Our most difficult challenges continue to be the maintenance of 522.591 miles of asphalt road surfaces, the integrity of 517 bridges, and to improve the system with available revenue in the face of ever-rising costs.
2021 AT A GLANCE
29.35 miles of County road asphalt resurfacing: $ 2,466,457.19 ($84,036 per mile-contracted)
22.64 miles of County road chip-sealed: $ 286,501.81 ($12,655 per mile-Co. performed)
4 new bridges constructed, 1 rehabilitated & misc. repairs: $ 1,198,925.10 (materials, services and contract)
362.78 miles of new pavement markings applied: $ 211,799.45 ($583.82 per mile-avg.-contracted)
Upgrading signs on 522.591 miles of County roads $ 50,998.80 (materials only)
New truck storage-office building constructed and occupied: $ 1,117,285.57 (Total: $1,894,312.53 2020-2021)
522.575 miles of County road maintained including mowing, snow removal, patching, culvert replacement, crack-sealing, signs and drainage; and the inspection and maintenance of 517 bridges on County and Township roads.
Revenue Change Revenue Change
Received from 2020 Spent from 2020
Ohio fuel tax: $3,753,407.02 +3% Wages and fringes: $ 2,243,315.49 + 2.8%
Ohio license tax: $2,697,680.26 +8% Overhead $ 470,316.95 +31.4%
Local permissive license tax $ 445,469.35 +5% Improvements: $ 3,731,679.28 +19.9%
Reimbursements $ 267,916.44 -60% Road maintenance materials:$ 362,569.57 -43.5%
Interest $ 78,480.53 -40% Equipment purchase: $ 261,003.31 -67.8%
Recycling & Sales $ 170,719.75 +326%
Total $ 7,413,673.35 +0.3% Total $ 7,068,884.60 -0.5%