You can almost see the ripples along sections of Smith and Fortson roads, but locations in other parts of Columbus are in worse condition, a city engineer said.
A man who lives in the area called the newspaper to voice concerns about possible damage to his vehicle while traveling roads with frequent truck traffic from industries in the 3000 block of Smith Road. He said the heavy truck traffic has left ripples in some sections of both roads.
Farhad AliFarhani, an engineer with the Columbus Consolidated Government, said the roads aren’t in the condition that would require resurfacing based on the zero-to-100 rating system for pavement. Zero is the worst road surface and 100 is the best. The ratings are determined by the condition of a roadway from one intersection to another. Potholes, other distresses and the severity of the roadway are considered in the rating.
“I see it to be not really a good condition, but it’s not as bad as some other sections of town that the asphalt is totally broken off or popping out with potholes and those kind of things,” AliFarhani said.
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After looking over the ratings on the roads and noting they are higher than 33, the engineer said the road didn’t fall within the range of roads the city is resurfacing. Still, the resident called and said the road is kind of rough.
“We have had some complaints before, but mostly that is about the railroad crossing,” he said. “It’s bad and everything and we report it to Norfolk Southern.”
While driving out Fortson Road, you quickly realize the outside edge of the road takes a beating. AliFarhani said the trucks turn in a curve and the road slopes, shifting the loads on the trucks. “When they make their turns, they affect the surface of the asphalt,” he said.
There aren’t any easy solutions for roads that face heavy truck traffic. The loads on the trucks and percentage of trucks going over the roadway are factors. It costs about $220,000 to resurface a mile of road with 1 1/2 inch of asphalt. That total almost doubles to $400,000 if 2 inches of asphalt are milled or removed. Reconstruction of the roadway would push the cost of a mile of asphalt to about $1 million.
“I have told our contractor to look at it,” AliFarhani said of the city’s consultant. “We will analyze it and see what needs to be done. Then I will get cost estimate from him, and we will purpose it or present it and get proper permits within the city on which way to go. That’s all I can do.”
The city normally resurfaces 15 to 20 miles of roads per year . Using the rating system, AliFarhani said they select roads on the bottom and move up the list.
“This time we are in the early 30s then gradually go up,” he said. “ We are hoping next year we will catch up those in the 40s.”
To help maintain roads in the area , the engineer said officials also will talk to the businesses operating in the area. “They need to make sure the trucks are not overloaded and are within the limit of weight,” he said. “ Those are things that can help the situation.”
If you have seen something that needs attention, give me as call.