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Inyo officials decide where to spend road funds

June 15, 2011

Gerkin Road south of Bishop is one of nine road projects the county has selected to receive a chip seal to protect it from damages caused by vehicles and the elements. The project will be paid for with Proposition 1B funds. Photo by Mike Gervais

County leaders decided how they would spend more than $2 million in state road funding last week.
Inyo is eligible for $2,188,192 in Prop 1B road funds for the 2009-10 funding cycle, but, in order to receive those funds, the county is required to develop a project list and include those projects in a budget that has been adopted by the Board of Supervisors.
In accordance with Prop 1B funding, the county will be reimbursed for the road work once it is completed.
Rather than undertake huge reconstruction projects to repair one or two local roads, Interim Public Works Director Doug Wilson compiled a list of seven roads that require basic maintenance, and two in need of more extensive work.
The board agreed to include Pine Creek Road from Round Valley School to U.S. 395 and Gill Station (Coso) Road for asphalt overlays. According to the project list, the Pine Creek Road overlay will cost approximately $290,000 and the Gill Station Road overlay will cost about $1.2 million.
Wilson said the inclusion of the Gill Station overlay is dependent on the county’s ability to re-direct state Surface Transportation Improvement Program funding that has already been allocated for that project. Wilson said he believes there will be no problems redirecting that money, but, should a problem arise, Gill Station can be removed from the Prop 1B project list and replaced with another road.
The seven roads slated for chip seals are Schober Lane ($50,000), Poleta Road ($83,373), Lower Rock Creek Road ($105,000), Gerkin Road ($110,000), Airport Road ($13,000), Fish Springs Road ($85,000) and Lubken Canyon Road ($33,000).
“Most of the chip seal projects are on roads that have been recently paved in order to keep our good roads in good condition,” Wilson said. “The proposed road projects were determined to be appropriate candidates for work through the Pavement Management System and from prior project lists.”
Wilson said that the Prop 1B project list also earmarks $218,000 for equipment purchases.
“We can use 10 percent of the Prop 1B funds for equipment, as longs as the equipment is used on the project,” Wilson said.
Wilson said it will take the county approximately 2-3 years to complete the projects.
The Board of Supervisors, with Fifth District Supervisor Richard Cervantes absent, approved the project list 4-0.
If any problems arise redirecting the Gill Station road STIP funding, Wilson will return to the board to seek direction on how to proceed and a discussion on what road project will replace Gill Station Road on the Prop 1B list.

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