St. Lawrence County roads and bridges are in dire need of repairs, says report
By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON -- St. Lawrence County roadways and bridges are in dire need of repairs, according to a Highway Department report.
The report says that says 70 percent of the county’s roads and 35 percent of bridges are deficient.The document shows 403 miles of the county’s 574 miles of road have sub-base deficiencies and 120 miles of roadway have major deficiencies.
Those numbers are identical to a 2014 report. At that time the county estimated it would cost $18.4 million per year for the next decade to correct and maintain the deficiencies, which is more than the county has invested.
The county currently spends about $4.6 million on roadways each year. This includes 20 miles of rut paving, 16 miles of surface treatment, 32 miles of cold-in-place and hot-top work and maintaining or replacing about 85 culverts.
The report says 35 percent or 70 of the county’s 194 bridges are in a deficient state and should be replaced within 10 years. Nine bridges have been closed.
The county typically performs one major bridge construction project per year with federal and state funding. Normally two additional bridges are in design each year. Three bridge projects per year are funded with Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funds.
The county hopes to increase the number of bridge projects to four or five per year by using additional CHIPS and local funding.
Furthering the county’s highway troubles is the county’s large inventory of culverts. The county has 269 large culverts that range from 4 feet to 20 feet long, 77 percent of which were deficient, according to a 2015 report.
The county also has 2,123 small culverts.
According to the 2018 county report the county fixes or replaces four to six large culverts and six to a dozen smaller culverts annually using state and local funding.